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Lawmakers approve budget that increases spending, gambles on future revenue

House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk). (Photo by Christine Stuart)
House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk). (Photo by Christine Stuart)

HARTFORD, Conn. –The legislature approved an $18.9 billion state budget plan this weekend that preserves municipal aid and preschool funding. The budget repeals keno but gambles on future revenue collection and unidentified savings.

Legislators in the House debated and passed the plan on a 91-55, mostly party line vote with Democratic Reps. Edward Moukawsher, Frank Nicastro, and Daniel Rovero joining Republicans in opposing it. A few hours later the Senate voted 21-15 to give the bill final passage early Sunday morning. Democratic Sen. Joan Hartley voted with Republicans against it.

Legislative Democrats and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration negotiated the budget this week after budget analysts concluded the $505 million surplus anticipated earlier had dropped to about $43.3 million based on disappointing income tax revenue.

“Let’s face it, we’re all humbled at the fact that budget projections really rely on the best guess of economists and fiscal analysts and those estimates can fluctuate so many states across the country have had to revise numbers,” Senate President Donald Williams said.

The new plan assumes that the Department of Revenue Services will, in 2015, collect an additional $75 million in unpaid taxes from tax delinquents identified last year during the tax amnesty process.

“This budget is on time, balanced without any new taxes, and under the state spending cap. It invests in our children’s education, helps working families, encourages economic growth, and bolsters the Rainy Day Fund to protect taxpayers from future budget fluctuations,” House Speaker Brendan Sharkey said in a statement.

Republicans, however, claimed the budget is built on faulty premises. House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero compared the budget to superficial repairs to a house in order to get its sellers through closing day. He said lawmakers were using “Band Aids and duct tape” and a fresh coat of paint to prop the budget up through the next Election Day rather than address its fundamental problems.

“We have water in our basement and our roof is leaking. If we’re honest people, and I believe we are, we have to tell that to the people of the state of Connecticut and we have to fix the roof,” he said. “The budget that’s before us now is a house built on a faulty foundation and unless and until we change that foundation, that house will crumble.”

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.

Comments

4 responses to “Lawmakers approve budget that increases spending, gambles on future revenue”

  1. Piberman

    Let’s vote to keep the Democratic super majority in Hartford. They serve the “real people” in CT – the oppressed and public unions. The poor Republicans have no where to turn – vastly outnumbered. We’re not too far from the day when every major employer in CT will be receiving state subsidies to remain here. Come the next national recession even CT Democrats will howl with pain as the state budget ( dependent on wealthy resident’s capital gains) becomes utterly unglued. Stay tuned. The best “budget tunes” are ahead of us. It’s the “CT Reality Show”. Can this state really be saved ? We know the answer. Call the movers !

  2. EveT

    At least they repealed Keno. Yes, gambling can generate short-term revenue, but when you look at the overall cost in terms of the social ills and accompanying costs (police time, court cases, incarceration), gambling is a long-term loser.

  3. Bill

    @EveT, yet the sky isn’t falling and the Indian casinos have been OPEN in our state for years…what the heck are you talking about?

  4. John Hamlin

    We need to vote the incumbents out of office if they won’t fix our economic problems.

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