GOP fails to override governor's budget veto; now is the time for a bipartisan agreementOctober 3, 2017
The state House of Representatives met Oct. 3 to consider overriding the veto of the Republican-backed budget, which the governor vetoed Sept. 28 because it is not the answer to Connecticut’s fiscal challenges.
The GOP budget would have:
- Raised taxes on working families by cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit;
- Increased the car property tax rate for Bridgeport residents from 37 mills to 54 mills;
- Slashed education funding to Bridgeport by over $7 million and given Greenwich $1 million more;
- Diminished funding to UConn and our state colleges and universities, forcing campuses to close and raising tuition for college students;
- Eliminated the Clean Elections Program, opening the door for big special interest money to get back into our elections;
- Cut workforce development programs at the state Department of Labor, making it harder for businesses to find the workforce they need to thrive;
- Cut many of the social service and youth services programs our residents rely on;
- Relied on unrealistic savings based on underfunding our pension system – the type of irresponsible decision that created our current fiscal challenges.
The Republicans refused to call the question for a vote to override the veto of their own budget. Thankfully, the Republicans must have recognized either the flaws in their plan or that they lacked the support to enact this budget. To those of you who wrote, posted or advocated for the defeat of this budget, I say "THANK YOU."
While it is good news that this budget which was terrible for Bridgeport and would have moved the state backward is off the table, Connecticut still must adopt a responsible spending plan.
The Democratic House Majority Leader has offered a new approach – let's break the issues down and vote to adopt the spending and revenue items all four caucuses and the governor can agree on. There is more that we have in common than there are areas of difference. I hope this new approach will allow for the political rhetoric to subside and create room to find the middle ground needed to end this stalemate.
We believe a proper budget solution must:
- Invest in our workforce and small businesses to grow our economy;
- Streamline state services and make long-term structural changes to bring greater budget stability;
- Provide municipalities with additional budget flexibility and move in the direction of regionalizing services to offer more efficient services;
- Protect the services our communities rely on, including services for our seniors, our children in crisis, and individuals with disabilities;
- Provide education resources where they are needed most;
- Create a new relationship with our urban centers to ensure proper oversight and economic investment.