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New Canaan Legislators Back GOP Proposal To Close State Budget Gap

Connecticut Rep. Tom O'Dea (R-125) says the "old way" of doing the state budget "isn't going to work." Photo Credit: File
State Sen. L. Scott Frantz (R-36) says Connecticut's current policy of "spending and borrowing" is unstable. Photo Credit: File
State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) says Connecticut's Democrats are "finally letting Republicans into the negotiating room." Photo Credit: File

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- New Canaan legislators are joining fellow Republicans in hailing their party’s proposals to put Connecticut back on a “sustainable path,” they said in a statement.

State Sen. L Scott Frantz (R-36) and Rep. Tom O’Dea (R-125) are echoing statements made recently by Sens. Toni Boucher (R-26) and Tony Hwang (R-134), and Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143).

The proposals were shared with Democratic leaders and Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy during bipartisan budget negotiations earlier this month and with the public at a press conference in Hartford.

Proposals include modifications of more than $370 million in 2016, enough, Republicans say, to close the state’s budget deficit while also restoring cuts made to social services under the governor’s September rescissions.

None of the immediate proposed solutions require labor concessions, the legislators said.

The proposals also include tax changes – including the elimination of “unitary combined reporting” – to improve the state’s business environment, they said.

Fairfield-based General Electric, citing the state’s business environment, said in June that it is looking to move out of Connecticut.

GE was responding to the state’s passage of revenue measures that would include the so-called “unitary combined reporting.”

“Unitary combined reporting” would allow the state to collect taxes on corporate income that companies have avoided reporting by attributing it to other jurisdictions.

The long-term Republican budget proposals include lowering state debt by limiting the amount it can borrow, identifying and addressing governmental inefficiencies, protecting transportation funding, better managing the pension system, and making modest labor modifications.

"It should be pretty clear at this point that the old way of doing this budget -- of increasing taxes and increasing spending, and sacrificing vital services while hammering hospitals and municipalities when the numbers don't add up - just isn't going to work," O'Dea said.

The Republic plan, he said, “protects those hospitals and our citizens who are most in need, while charting a course toward more reliable budgeting."

“The current policy of spending and borrowing is unstable and will continue to fail the residents in our state,” Frantz said. “Unless we do something to change the course we are on -- I fear for our state’s financial future.”

“The governor and Democrats are finally allowing Republicans into the negotiating room,” said Boucher, who had earlier issued a statement supporting the GOP plan.

“We expect an open and transparent dialogue and a commitment to permanent structural changes,” she added.

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