House GOP budget plan calls for no tax hikes

State lawmakers meet at the Capitol. (WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s Democratic Speaker of the House says he’s calling the House back into session one week from today to vote on a budget plan.  On Tuesday, House Republican leaders presented their version of a budget and unlike the Democrats‘ plan it calls for no tax hikes of any kind.

House Republican leaders made a big show of presenting their budget plan that they say has been fully vetted in time for next week’s session.   “We feel very strongly about having our budget
called and voted on,” said Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) the House Minority Leader.  Four moderate Democrats sat conspicuously in the front row. It would only take four Democrats to join the 72 Republicans to pass this budget plan.

The House Republican plan calls for no Sales Tax hike.  The Democrats want to jack it up to 6.99 percent.  And preserving the 200 dollar Property Tax Credit. It calls for $2 billion in labor concessions a half a billion dollars more than the deal the unions are voting on this week. And a 10 percent reduction in the state workforce.

Larry Dorman of AFSCME Council 4 believes the plan will only make things worse.

I think it’s nothing more than kabuki theater. It’s an austerity plan that will make things worse for the working people in Connecticut rather than better.”

The GOP plan increases local school and other municipal aid, and does not require the cities and towns to contribute to the State Teacher Pension Fund as the Governor has proposed.  “One of our members’ highest prioritities, obviously, is not having teachers retirement shifted into municipal governments,” said Joe DeLong of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

The plan does not call for the legalization of marijuana, no tolls, no cigarette tax hike, although a lifting of the mill rate cap could cause car taxes to go up in the larger cities.  The plan also calls for the elimination of the ‘Citizens Election Fund.’ That’s the public financing system for political campaigns.  They want to use that $20 to $30 million to help save social programs.

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin)  also listened carefully to the Republican proposals and said,  “Some of their proposals today are interesting and we’re going to look at them. Some of them are problematic.”

The Speaker is referring to that two billion in savings from state employees. House Republican leaders say that can be done by statute but there is some question as to whether some of those cuts would violate existing state labor agreements.

For a more detailed look at the House Republicans budget plan click here.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s