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CT Republicans Roll Out No-Tax Hike Budget

September 13, 2017 By Staff
CT Republicans Roll Out No-Tax Hike Budget

Senate and House Republicans in the state came together on Tuesday for a state budget proposal that has no tax hikes and makes major structural changes to state employee benefits.

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven), House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby), and other Senate and House Republicans rolled out a budget proposal on Tuesday that doesn’t raise taxes and achieves $270 million in savings from changes to state employee benefits.

Fasano and Klarides released a joint statement that read, in part:

“Connecticut Republicans are once again offering a complete, balanced budget proposal that does exactly that. We are offering structural changes to achieve savings in the long term.

…Republicans have once again demonstrated that the state’s multibillion dollar deficit, caused by runaway spending and high taxes that stymied economic growth, can be eliminated without raising taxes or gutting social services for the needy.”

Republicans’ budget proposal rejects some of the recent tax proposals from Democrats, which included a sales tax hike (since scrapped), a new tax on restaurants, a cell phone tax, and tolls.

The largest savings in the GOP budget proposal, meanwhile, come from changes to state employee pensions, including:

  • Suspending cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) until the pension system is more adequately funded
  • Increasing the amount state employees contribute to their pensions to seven percent, which is the national average
  • Eliminating overtime as part of the formula for state employee pensions

GOP leaders estimate this will save $270 million in fiscal years (FYs) 2018 and 2019.

The Republican Party has 18 of 36 seats in the Senate – though LG Nancy Wyman (D-Conn.) has the tiebreaking vote – and 72 of 151 seats in the House.