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EXCLUSIVE: Rural Democrat Voices His Concerns on the State Budget

September 14, 2017 By Staff
EXCLUSIVE: Rural Democrat Voices His Concerns on the State Budget

Pat Boyd, a key, moderate Democrat in the state legislature, talks to Reclaim Connecticut ahead of an anticipated Thursday night vote.

As Connecticut inches towards a budget, State Representative Pat Boyd (D-Pomfret) talked to Reclaim Connecticut about his thoughts and concerns over the proposed budgets.

Boyd was clear he has “not committed his vote yet” and there are currently parts of the proposed Democrat budget he is “uncomfortable” with.

Specifically, Boyd had major concerns over the proposed hopsital tax hikes and town pension commitments.

Urging a long-term outlook over simple, short-term solutions, Boyd voted back in July for union concessions in the SEBAC agreement because, he said, of his support for state workers to “transition to a 401(k) system.” Now that those union concessions have been voted in, Connecticut’s taxpayers are locked in until 2027.

On the budget, Boyd said his constituents are “leery of any new revenue,” while at the same time noting the reality is that in “almost every budget scenario property taxes go up” for towns, who will be directly affected by budget reductions and revenue changes.

While the proposed Republican budget would have no tax increase, Boyd would “need to know more about certain aspects” before supporting it, first and foremost being “if the governor would sign it.”

In the Republican budget, Boyd would need clarifitication on an array of proposed agricultural provisions, too, starting with changes in the Community Investments Act and how those changes would affect dairy farmers in Boyd’s district. Other changes proposed in the Republican budget on “farmland preservation” would also need further discussion, Boyd said.

While Connecticut has gone weeks without a budget, it’s clear that no proposal is a total win. Boyd saying “what ever budget we adopt needs to straighten out some certaintiy in the long term, and not just look at the short term.”

While budget negotiations are still being hammered out, Boyd, a self-identified centrist, reaffirmed that he’ll continue to represent rural interests in Connecticut’s contentious budget negotiations and is not locked into any budget proposed.