DANBURY, Conn. – State Reps. Richard A. Smith, Jan Giegler, Stephen Harding and Dan Carter stood with House and Senate Republicans on Monday morning to unveil a budget plan that would alleviate the state’s projected $935.7 million debt for next fiscal year and build a framework for surpluses for the years to come.
Smith represents New Fairfield, Sherman and Danbury. Giegler represents Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield. Harding represents Brookfield, Danbury and Bethel. Carter represents Bethel, Danbury, Newtown and Redding.
“This budget plan includes what I have been advocating for in terms of long-term structural changes to the state’s budget,” said Smith. “Such changes include mandatory voting by the legislature on public employee labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding. This will inevitably result in a more predictable economy, creating confidence in our business community and help grow jobs here in Connecticut.”
“The balanced, structural changes proposed today are necessary to put Connecticut’s economy back on a solid financial footing, while fully funding vital education and social services and without raising taxes on already struggling Connecticut residents and municipalities,” Giegler said.
“From the beginning, it was my initiative ... to restore funding to our critical services and aid, while not increasing the already over-burdensome tax placed upon our residents,” said Harding. “This budget has properly addressed the continuing dilemma of trying to explain to families, businesses, and those who rely on critical healthcare and mental health services that their lifestyles here in this state were no longer feasible. We have also addressed how to close this deficit without forcing more people out through tax hikes, or cutting needed funding.”
“Republican lawmakers today surmounted an impossible burden posed by the governor and majority party by proposing a budget that not only closes the deficit for Fiscal Year 2017, but plans for fiscal sustainability over the next five years,” said Carter.
The proposed Republican budget would:
- Protect funding for social services for the disabled, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty
- Restore support for hospitals, such as Danbury Hospital, and Medicaid reimbursements.
- Restore education funding for school districts such as Sherman, which had been targeted for a significant cut.
- Contain a robust municipal mandate relief package.
- Make administrative cuts to state agencies for specific, discretionary spending accounts by 12 percent for a total savings of $157.5 million.
- Include legislative givebacks including legislative salary reductions and elimination of unsolicited mail.
- Make modifications to debt service and a cap on state bonding.
- Fund transportation development with no tolls and no tax increases plan.