EXCLUSIVE: GOP Rep Talks State Bonding, Budget, and 2018 RumorsMay 16, 2017
State Rep. Chris Davis (R-Ellington) caught attention last week for slamming $12,000 in clock purchases on the state credit card. This week, he talks to Reclaim Connecticut.
“We’re replacing clocks at a high school for $12,000. I mean, why do we need be replacing clocks with the state credit card?”
State Rep. Chris Davis (R-Ellington) asked that question at a State Bond Commission meeting last week, and it resonated with a lot of people in Connecticut.
On Monday, Davis talked to Reclaim Connecticut about that moment, the state budget, and 2018.
Reclaim Connecticut asked Davis about why he spoke out about $12,000 in state bonding on clocks, and other wasteful spending in the state as it faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit.
“The fiscal crisis that we now find ourselves in made it that much more important to draw a line in the sand,” Davis said. “We can’t be continuing to do what we’ve been doing in the last six years.”
Davis is the only Republican state representative on the Bond Commission.
“We need to be really prioritizing what we’re using this bonded money for.”
Davis said Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.), who leads the Bond Commission, has contributed to the problem.
Bonding authorization was $1.2 billion in 2010, the last year of Gov. Jodi Rell’s (R-Conn.) administration, and was $2.2 billion under Malloy in 2015, according to Davis.
That leads to a “huge spike in these debt service costs,” Davis said. “And those are fixed costs, generally speaking.”
“Every dollar that we’re spending on debt service right now is a dollar less than can be spent on any other program.”
Davis said Malloy’s latest budget revision leads to “great concern[s],” because he’s still relying too much on taxes and on shifting teachers’ pensions costs to towns.
“Any type of tax increases” are bad, Davis suggested.
Davis confirmed that some people “across the state” have approached him about a statewide run for office in 2018.
Davis didn’t rule it out, saying it’s something he’ll “discuss with my family.”
It’s “not something that I’m concentrating on right now,” Davis said. “Right now, my main concern is trying to solve our state’s fiscal crisis.”
But, Davis, concluded, he would have to determine if he is able to make a difference.
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