Republican state budget proposal offers a better plan

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Editor’s note: The following was submitted by the press office for Greenwich’s state representatives and reduced and altered with their permission.

We join our fellow Republican lawmakers in support of a budget proposal that stays within the constitutional spending cap, reduces spending, provides modest tax relief and increases municipal aid.

This budget plan won’t add to the projected two-year $2 billion deficit. Rather, the Republican proposal makes smart spending cuts and sensible use of excess revenue to create a common sense approach to Connecticut’s fiscal needs. According to the state’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, this is the only budget plan that doesn’t increase future deficits.

This plan is exactly what Connecticut needs. It’s a responsible approach that reduces spending and provides much needed tax relief to citizens while using excess revenue to pay for much needed programs.

Some of the state’s excess revenue will be used to properly pay for much needed programs such as $196 million for Economic Recovery Notes in order to reduce long term debt that were delayed, $133 million to accelerate the sales tax exemption on clothing and footwear under $50, $60 million to eliminate to the surcharge businesses pay for interest on money borrowed for the state’s unemployment insurance fund, $100 million to shore the state employee pension fund and a phased-in exemption of all pensions from the income tax, starting at 5%.

Additionally, the Republican plan doesn’t balance its budget on gimmicks and eliminates the $677 million in gimmicks put in place by the majority party to “balance” their budget. The state cannot sustain itself on these kinds of tricks. The citizens of Connecticut deserve an honest, transparent budget.

The Republican budget proposal adds $41 million into the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account and gives more support to towns and cities than both the governor’s and Democrats’ budget. Connecticut’s economic resurgence calls for the bold path that this budget alternative would take us on.

Republicans are adding $45 million in critical program funding through restoring $9 million to the retired teachers health care plan, a 1% cost of living increase for home health aides, $15 million to maintain primary care provider rates, adding DSS staff to ease client waiting lists for $4.4 million, and increasing funding for mental health.

 

Livvy Floren

Stephen Walko

Fred Camillo

Greenwich

 

The authors are Connecticut’s state representatives to the General Assembly.

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