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Opinion: Alert – Let’s work on a real bipartisan budget

State Sen. Bob Duff.

Republican Budget Raises Taxes, Increases Spending, Defers Pension Payments, Makes Cuts to Higher Education and to Jobs Initiatives

Connecticut’s future depends on smart investments in our economy and a strong education system.

 

Over the past several months, Senate Democrats have been working diligently to pass a state budget that invests in Connecticut’s future and makes honest spending cuts and structural changes to pay down past debts, accumulated over decades.

Unfortunately, despite their repeated false claims, the Republican state budget that passed the Connecticut General Assembly last week:

  • Raises Taxes and Fees Over a Billion Dollars
  • Raises taxes on people who own a home
  • Raises taxes on people who own a car
  • Raises taxes on 44,000 teachers an average of $1,500 per year
  • Raises taxes on 200,000 low- to moderate-income working people
  • Raises taxes on hospitals
  • Raises taxes on businesses
  • Raises taxes on sports fans and concert goers
  • Raises taxes on homebuyers
  • BUT cuts taxes for the super-rich

Makes Devastating Cuts to Education, Jobs Programs and Local Institutions

 

  • Decimates UConn with an unprecedented cut of $309 million that will dramatically increase costs to students, potentially shutting down academic departments, local branches like UConn Stamford, and some Division I sports
  • Cuts funding and scholarship opportunities to public and private colleges including Norwalk Community College and UConn, leaving 15,000 families out in the cold without scholarships
  • Ends funding for manufacturers to train workers and provide new jobs
  • Eliminates the Small Business Express program which has helped hundreds of Connecticut small businesses, including local companies like the following:

• New England Bread, Norwalk

• Next Health, Norwalk

• Circulent, LLC, Darien

  • Kills green jobs and stifles an emerging market by taking $46 million from the nationally acclaimed Connecticut Green Bank and other clean energy and environmental initiatives
  • Puts dark money and lobbyist money back into Connecticut politics by eliminating the Citizens Election Program
  • Dismantles tourism districts including potential elimination of funding for the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, the Maritime Aquarium and other local destinations
  • Robs the state pension fund and defers payments, increasing long-term debt

I have been and am still committed to doing what is right for this state. That is why I am ready to work together with my colleagues to pass a budget that does not hurt our residents, devastate our higher education system, or rely on unrealistic savings.

Sign Our Petition

Please sign our petition, and call the Governor at 1-800-406-1527 to tell him to veto this Republican budget and stand with me against these devastating cuts and tax increases. Together we can build a stronger future for Connecticut.

16 comments

Sky September 22, 2017 at 4:09 am

Nice try Bob! But it is the Democratic budget that was going to tax people to death. It is time to face reality. The days of kowtowing to the state unions and to the other parts of CT are over … time to wake up!

Just another Norwalk Voter September 22, 2017 at 6:29 am

Gee Senator Duff, according to the article in this morning’s Norwalk Hour, the Norwalk Schools would get $15.983 million under the GOP’s budget instead of $15.9 million under your budget. That’s more not less money.
I think you may not be operating with all the facts.

Andrew September 22, 2017 at 7:23 am

This is a fine list of how mean and nasty the Republicans are. But the facts are that they have passed a budget while you have not.

Please enlighten us as to how you are going to get a budget. Please tell us what you are going to cut, because you do not have a revenue problem, the problem is spending.

Tell us please, we have been waiting and heard nothing yet.

Drewt September 22, 2017 at 8:06 am

Bob to the rescue?!! YEAH? I think not! Where have you been all this time since the Budget was due?! Where was the Democrats Budget?!? Where were you standing up for us?! Where O Where Bob? The Republicans have had a Budget since APRIL!!!!!! You and your Democratic friends wouldn’t even allow it to come for a discussion let alone a vote. And now you want to start crying about how bad this bi-prtisian Budget is? But wait if it’s that bad why aren’t you all having another session in Hartford working out a NEW budget that could actually be discussed? OH That’s right scheduling conflicts because a Senator is going on a cruise!! Are you freaking kidding me Here?! Unfortunately Dumb A** Malloy will probably Veto this Bi-Partisian Budget and the. Come October 1st after the Senators vacation the Drastic decimating cuts will go into effect!! Awsome Job as always….NOT! #enoughwithduff #duffmustgo #standup?

Bryan Meek September 22, 2017 at 8:07 am

Or the Democrat budget, which is only 5 months overdue, that couldn’t get the votes because it was a total sham like the three before it that were based on bogus revenue forecasts.

And this is coming from the people who have spent the state into oblivion for the past 6 years with 2 record tax increases and nothing to show for it, except an influx of refugees who need major financial support and an exodus of high profile companies and their high paying jobs along with them.

Isabelle Hargrove September 22, 2017 at 11:09 am

Senator Duff, your budget plans were so terrible that you could not even get enough votes from your own MAJORITY party to get it to the floor for a vote.

This plan has been available for 6 months now. You could have chosen to read it and work on compromises if your intentions were to help CT.

Cuts will have to be made, we spend too much on government and there are too many abuses. You also decided to favor public unions over the rest of us. When you voted a few months ago for the contracts we could not afford, you decided on these cuts, you bare the responsibility of the hard choices we have to now make.

Let’s remember where we were before this bi-partisan budget was passed. NOWHERE. Senator Duff can scream fire all he wants and show us once more just how partisan he is. He can obstruct this budget, but he offers no solution, just partisan rhetoric that is bankrupting our state and hurting Norwalk.

greg ehlers September 22, 2017 at 12:40 pm

This is something out of the twilight zone in how detached Bob is from reality.

Even the title – “Let’s Work on a Real Bipartisan Budget.” Bob Duff has been “working hard” (that line again!) on a bipartisan budget literally since January. The fact of the matter is what he and the Democrats came up with was so bad three members of his own caucus bailed on him and said “screw this.” His idea of a bipartisan budget raised taxes on cell phone bills, seasonal homes, home heating oil, real estate conveyance fees, and shifted teacher pension costs on to towns.

The cuts made to Uconn were a way to save funding for drug rehab centers, Care4Kids, Meals on Wheels for seniors, programs for people with special needs, and Norwalk’s ECS funding.

The sad part is Bob actually believes this dribble helps him in his district. Clearly it has in the past but it seems Norwalker’s are catching on. The reality is Bob has never been bi-partisan and a political letter like this is meant to misdirect his inability to actually represent his district and put forth a budget that would get bi-partisan support and be in our best interest. Remember Bob was shocked he lost 3 votes, he factually knew not one Republican member would vote for his reckless budget. Bob it is time to sit down, we actually need somebody to start really standing up for us.

Non Partisan September 22, 2017 at 9:31 pm

Bob- your always right- first pass legislation that puts state employees before all taxpayers. Do this before budget so everyone is married to a huge give away that will ultimately bankrupt Ct

Then- ponder a budget for 6 months and get no where while collecting a salary and benefits

Remember last year when you gave all teachers a great perk off phased out income tax on their retirements. When the other side passes a budget that reverses that you call it a tax increase.

You are more than Just a little disingenuous

Bryan Meek September 22, 2017 at 9:54 pm

@Non Partisan. Good point. Malloy with Duff’s approval gave our currently retired teachers a 50% tax break for God knows what reason although they claim it was to keep them here. I have yet to talk to one retired teacher who would tell you that it is that compelling or a deciding factor for remaining as a CT resident. Sure it’s a perk, but not one keeping them here even though it was a %$50 million giveaway.

Dawn September 23, 2017 at 6:33 am

Why don’t you show us your “better” plan. You could not even get it past your own people.
Oh, I forgot. We are your people and you were not, are not and never have been looking out for us.

Wineshine September 23, 2017 at 10:40 am

Bob uses a term like “bipartisan” and his lemmings applaud. Never, ever bother to look at the facts, Norwalk voters. They might show exactly how nice a guy Bob is.

Rick September 23, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Bob I use your lawn sign frames for my garden only use they have.

I went thru Hartford the other day the weigh station right before Hartford was full the station was closed just like the rest stops giving truckers a place to pull over making the roads safer so they could rest or get out of morning traffic.I bet when you go by your thinking four of the 250 state troopers they laid off are working.

This has been the problem for years Bob you think its all about tourism and real estate value , taxing hospitals that get billions in donations.

Why not suggest money for police fire and ems.

Bob if we charge politicians for ribbon cutting ,you know like the opening under the RR bridge by the sono collection that was built wrong and the state denied opening the road until Norwalk fixed the bridge right. That why it took so long in fact the ribbon cutting was long before the road was opened it was an election ribbon cutting ceremony .

Yes Ribbon cutting tax would be awesome Bob think about it.

Your comments about industry in Ct has taken a hit whats left now to boast about whats left?

Casino in Bridgeport guess Norwalk didn’t work out, the Bluefish was a kids delight now we dont even have a team Bob.

Ct top 100 taxpayers are down 45 percent ct personal income tax is down 450 million

600 people are leaving ct each week

some good news Bob Whiffle ball and Pez are contenders in the toy hall of fame

Over the past 20 years, job creation numbers have ranked in the bottom five among the 50 states
Connecticut has the nation’s second-highest rate of income inequality, after New York
The state has lost population for three years running
Last year, Greater Hartford ranked fourth and New Haven fifth in population loss among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas

Bob you push internet savy and speed yet the state “Connecticut, which is home to 3.6 million people, has 111 police dispatch centers. By comparison, Houston, which as 2.3 million residents, has just one emergency dispatch center, which handles fire as well as police.”

Internet access is as good in Connecticut as just about anywhere else in the country. A new report on the Top Connected States in America ranks Connecticut as the 6th most connected state in the nation. The analysis, by USDish.com, found that the top 10 states showing excellent connectivity to broadband all value connecting rural citizens to the resources they need to succeed economically, both in school and at work.

so what is the problem Bob?

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said recently “We are the land of steady habits and the world has changed around us.”

A settlement in pending litigation reached between the New York Attorney General’s Office and Simon Property Group (SPG), owner of Woodbury Common, and announced late last month, could open the door to new retail outlet opportunities in Southern and Western Connecticut – regions that had long been under the restrictions.

This means Norwalks mall may have a lot more competition than when they first came to Norwalk, Bob this would be a major blow to Ct and the Danbury mall and others ,open up a new one close the other four is not a step fore wood Bob.

now-eliminated restrictions extends beyond New York into Connecticut, including much of Fairfield County – including Norwalk, Stamford, Danbury and Bridgeport – and extending nearly into New Haven. (The straight line distance from Central Valley, NY to New Haven is 62 miles; to Milford is 55 miles.)

Bob your in real estate and never told us about this when pushing for the mall,or did you mention this?

Simon agreed pay a $945,000 fine to New York State for this what is Ct getting? Tolls to ensure the new deal ensures New Yorkers stay in the state.

Thanks for the belly laugh alert , super-rich are leaving and taking their money so at least one thought needs fixing

Bill Dunne September 23, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Bob, maybe it’s time to lie low for a while. The only thing you seem to provoke with your absurd postings is outrage. I count 14 comments as I read this Saturday evening, and all 14 are ridiculing you.

Rick September 24, 2017 at 4:32 am

Bill lets ask Bob for some help

I’m told Ct has no rent control , A media source has run a shocking story about rent in Norwalk rising to insane levels overnight.

Its obvious Norwalk needs to protect these people and the growth of the city what can be done , Bob having some Real Estate background and a law maker can help be given to our city to ensure some stability.

Our elected and appointed city officials are always saying how they are helping the residents maintain a vibrant city , encourage new nesters and complete the housing cycle in the city . Stable rents should be expected constant turnover each year with rent increases cannot be good for the city like this.

A 700.00 increase on a 2000.00 dollar apartment, Avalon East has a a 31 percent increase of about $600, Apartments on westport ave about a 26 percent increase of $726. the online rental sites local are now advertising these figures.

Maybe Bob can weigh in also this seems to be a bad way to t a city of great residents over night.Maybe the chief of Staff of Norwalk can help us out as well. Shame to plan on buiding up the city while good residents and taxpayers are pushed out.

If I may go back to the Toy hall of fame Pez and Whiffle ball invented in Ct has tough field to navigate this year they are up against Matchbox and the magic 8 ball.

Maybe we should all vote maybe bring home an induction. The website will allow us here in Ct to vote as well this is for toys and games and not the ones that are played at the State House.

What else do we have please consider voting for Ct inventions this is bipartisan effort to bring the gold home.

http://www.toyhalloffame.org/2017-finalists

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