Hartford- State Representative Marilyn Giuliano (R- Old Saybrook) lamented the budget proposal unveiled by Governor Malloy today during a joint convention at the State Capitol. Expecting to hear about meaningful reform, Giuliano instead heard more about borrowing and spending.
Despite the highest tax increase in state history passed in the Governor’s last budget, Connecticut is still facing a deficit in excess of $2.3 billion over the next two years. That’s why, for many, shock set it when the Governor proposed $1.8 billion in additional spending in his budget.
“Although the Governor claims he is cutting spending in this budget, in reality there is a 9% increase in spending - and that's something this state simply can’t sustain,” said Giuliano, a member of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee.
The budget exceeds the constitutional spending cap, but Malloy's proposal circumvents that constitutional limit by moving $900 out from under the spending cap. The proposal also includes $3.1 billion in bonding and borrows to cover operating expenses, something Malloy promised he would never do.
"Connecticut families deserve better than this proposed budget. They deserve an honest budget that puts Connecticut on the road to recovery, not one that makes future generations responsible for our inability to control spending,” Giuliano added.
Malloy made a splash when he proposed eliminating the car tax, a long-standing municipal revenue source. Many car owners expect that this will save them some money. Giuliano, however, wasn’t quick to praise the move. Currently, municipalities have limited avenues to collect revenue, the car tax being one. Giuliano said she generally supports eliminating taxes but, without a way to pay for it, towns will simply have to make up for it in other ways.
"Avoiding further taxes, especially increases in property taxes, should be a hallmark of honest budgeting in this long recession. Eliminating the car tax puts dollars in one pocket while taking them from the other in the form of increased property taxes to make up the difference.”
At this stage the proposal is still subject to change prior to becoming law. Giuliano said she will use her role on the Appropriations committee to try to inject some common sense into the budget debate. Regardless, Giuliano said, this is not a good starting point for negotiations.
Other aspects of Malloy’s budget include:
- Continuation of the electric generation tax, likely to result in more than $80 million passed on to families and businesses.
- Avoids exceeding the Constitutional Spending Cap by moving $900 million in spending outside of the cap.
- Bonds $1.5 billion in FY 14 and $1.6 billion in FY 15.
- Finances $750 million to reduce the GAAP deficit and push out debt payment until 2016.
- Pushes off Economic Recovery Notes payments. $300 million in bonding that will be moved from the next two years into the out years burdening our future prosperity.
- Bonds Pay-As-You-Go transportation projects -$20 million a year.
- Implement Tax Amnesty program for $25 million.
- Eliminates $24.9 million in school transportation and adds a $5 million regionalization grant
- Eliminates $94 million in municipal revenue sharing grant (AKA manufacturing machinery and equipment grant / property tax relief).
Rep. Giuliano represents the 23rd district communities of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.