Hartford Current: Darien’s state rep offers tale of two budgets
Connecticut’s 2022-23 state budget tells a story. Like any story, the author – in this case the majority party – decides what you should see and think. In this case, the story told was of a “no tax increase budget.” Let’s dive in and take a look.
There are many good things in this two-year budget. My main concern is how it was handled and does it set us up for future economic growth. Many bills were passed that will be helpful. However the deeply substantive work needed to create a path of equal opportunity for all and economic sustainability is still needed.
The two-year budget with a total spend of $46.3 billion has two key parts, the budget and the budget implementer. The budget is amount we spend and the implementer is how we spend the funds. We vote on the budget and the implementer separately.
● We used federal money of $1.75 billion as if it were free money. These are hard earned tax dollars. In two years, we will have to budget without this infusion of funds.
● For the implementer bill, we received the 837-page double sided/544 section budget implementer language a mere 30 hours before the debate and vote. The senate had three hours to digest, debate and vote. Less than two days to digest hundreds of proposals. This is not right.
● The Implementer is often a vehicle to insert favors to legislative members and revive proposals that die in other committees. Some of the proposals did not even have a public hearing. Called “rats’ as they could not survive in the light of day and were done in secrecy. This was the case this year.
● It delays promised tax relief to businesses by extending the corporate tax surcharge two years and delays promised property tax relief for adults who are not seniors and have no dependents to claim.