Republican budget would have devastating effects on Bridgeport and its economy

September 18, 2017

Republican legislators succeeded in passing their budget proposal in the early morning hours on Saturday. I strongly opposed this spending package and voted “No” because I believe this budget is bad for Bridgeport and contradicts Connecticut’s core values.

The Republicans’ two-year $40.68 billion budget is unbalanced, relies on unrealistic savings, and contains devastating cuts to higher education. This spending package would also inflict turmoil by slashing the vital services and programs that our most vulnerable residents rely on.

Further, I believe this budget will prevent our economy from growing. The Republican’s financial plan prioritizes increases in funding to affluent suburban towns at the expense of our cities.

This would not only make it more expensive to live in and visit our urban centers, but it would further cut aid to our already underfunded schools which would hinder the state’s ability to grow cities like Bridgeport into the economic drivers it needs to attract young professionals and new businesses – both large and small.

Specifically to Bridgeport, the Republican budget would:

  • Increase our car tax rate from 37 mills to 54 mills
  • Repeal the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account program, which would prevent future regional sales tax from being diverted to offset local property taxes
  • Cut education funding to Bridgeport by more than $7 million and give Greenwich $1 million more in aid
  • Cut city funding
  • Impose a 10 percent state admissions tax for ticket sales to events at Webster Arena and the Ballpark at Harbor Yard, making it harder for the venues to draw folks into Bridgeport
  • Triple the cut to the earned income tax credit, hurting the working poor
  • Decimate the many social service, workforce development and youth services programs our residents rely on
  • Diminish funding to our state colleges and local independent colleges such as Fairfield and Sacred Heart universities and University of Bridgeport
  • Reduce funding to local attractions such as Beardsley Zoo

Click the link here to view my floor speech during the House debate.

With Gov. Dannel Malloy vowing to veto the Republican budget, it is time for legislators to work together to pass a truly bipartisan budget that prioritizes economic growth in our cities, helping Connecticut residents in need, addressing the educational achievement gap, and putting our state on the path toward fiscal stability. I am committed to that process and hope to support a budget package that actually moves our state forward.

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