STRATFORD, Conn. — Reps. Laura Hoydick and Ben McGorty and Sen. Kevin Kelly joined Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly on Monday as they unveiled a revised 2017 budget that would close the state’s projected $935.7 million deficit, restore funding to social services, protects town education funding, and implement long-term structural changes to the state budget.
Hoydick represents Statford. McGorty represents Stratford, Shelton, and Trumbull. Kelly represents Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford.
The "Pathway to Sustainability" proposal includes savings that roll out over the next five years, mitigating future projected budget shortfalls.
“The massive tax increases of the past five years have been a big part of that, but the instability of our budget climate has also been a driving force behind the exodus of employers,” said Hoydick.
“We recognize that budget cuts are simply not enough, and that the structural changes we have long been calling for are critical to turning this state’s economy around, and providing level and fertile ground for our fiscal fortunes to be reversed,” said McGorty.
“By living within our means and protecting important funding for our children and the most needy, Republicans are solving the problems facing our state rather than hiding behind the governor’s ‘new economic reality’ excuse. Our budget focuses on what is needed to get our economy back on track and grow good paying middle-class jobs,” said Kelly.
The Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that if the current budget practices continue, the state will rack up deficits over the next five years of nearly $1 billion to over $3 billion annually.
This plan includes a line-by-line budget to mitigate the fiscal year 2017 deficit, as well as long-term structural changes. After 2017, this budget proposal is projected to produce annual surpluses, with a cumulative total of over $1 billion.
The three legislators acknowledged that the GOP proposal calls for the privatization of group homes, which is contrary to the position they have taken concerning the Ella Grasso Regional Center and which Gov. Dannel Malloy has moved to close.
“We will continue to fight the closure of the Grasso Center,” added Hoydick.
Details of the budget include the following:
- Protects funding for social services for the disabled, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty.
- Restores support for hospitals and Medicaid reimbursements.
- Restores education funding for towns and increases statutory grants to municipalities.
- Cuts administrative costs 12 percent for a total savings of $157.5 million.
- Legislative salary givebacks.
- Modifications to debt service and a cap on state bonding.
- Funds transportation development with no tolls/ no tax increases.
- Implements long-term structural changes, including mandatory voting by the legislature on labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding.
For more details about the plan, visit www.cthousegop.com/goppath .