On April 17, Deputy House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114) unveiled a balanced budget fix that reduces spending, pads the Rainy Day Fund, does not create deficits and stays within the Constitutional Spending Cap – a plan for fiscal stability that sharply contrasts Legislative Democrats’ shadowy gimmicks.
“This budget reduces long-term liabilities, increases municipal aid by $26 million and responsibly reduces spending by $55 million,” said Rep. Klarides, a veteran member of the budgeting-writing Appropriations Committee. “We’re giving the people of Connecticut an alternative to the Democrats’ insatiable growth of government and dishonest tricks like raiding off-budget accounts to fund ongoing programs – which will unequivocally lead to large-scale deficits and tax increases.”
“Our plan provides modest tax relief to residents and businesses, including elimination of the $60 million surcharge thrust on employers resulting from the defunct unemployment fund, accelerated reinstatement of the tax exemption on clothing and footwear costing less than $50 ($133 million); and accelerated restoration of the sales tax exemption on non-prescription drugs ($16.5 million).”
The non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis certified today in writing that the Republican alternative budget is the only proposal that reduces the $1.1 billion deficit projected for the next budget cycle. They state that the plans offered by Gov. Malloy and Legislative Democrats add to that structural shortfall.
“We can’t keep continuing down this unsustainable path of more spending, more gimmicks and bigger deficits, which sets us up for future tax increases. Our budget is honest, and rejects the fiscal sleight-of-hand maneuvers the Democrats use to finance their overly bloated budget, such as raiding accounts intended for road repairs, tobacco and substance abuse prevention, and clean energy investment.
“If the Democratically-controlled legislature continues to spend more than they take in, taxes will continue to escalate, further hampering employers’ ability to create jobs and invest in our state. We continue to see the backward trend of growth in government, without growth in our state economy.”
Other details of the Republican alternative budget include:
Ø Increased municipal spending by $26 million
Ø Phased-in exemption of all pensions from the income tax, starting at 5 percent
Ø Restoration of $18 million in transportation funding intended for road and bridge repairs
Ø Restoration of $9 million to the retired teachers’ healthcare plan
Ø Addition of $3.1 million in new mental health services
Legislative Democrats’ budget creates $1.1 billion in deficits for the next budget cycle, delays $346 million in scheduled debt payments, relies on $207 million in raided off-budget funds – including raided gasoline tax revenue intended for road repairs, underfunds retiree healthcare by an additional $51 million and grows government with the creation of 443 brand new government positions.
Rep. Klarides added “Ours is the only honest plan out there – Legislative Democrats’ proposal is padded with sneaky accounting gimmicks, and Gov. Malloy’s plan features an election year tax rebate in a tactless attempt to assuage outrage over his record-setting tax increase two years ago.”
Rep. Klarides voted against the Democratic majority’s budget package (HB 5030) that was passed out of the Appropriations Committee on a party line vote on March 27. It now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. The General Assembly must pass a balanced budget adjustment prior to adjournment of the 2014 Legislative Session onMay 7th.
For more information on the Republican budget alternative, click here:http://cthousegop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Budget_Presentation_FINAL.pdf