Reps. Frey and Ferguson, Sen. Boucher offer 'no tax increase' budget proposal

State Representatives John Frey (R-111) and Michael Ferguson (R-138) have joined State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) and legislative Republicans in supporting an alternative budget proposal called “Confident Connecticut” that would balance the state’s budget without increasing the tax burden on Connecticut residents. The budget proposal, unveiled by Senate and House Republicans on Thursday, is an alternative to the controversial proposal that the governor advocated in February and could be approved by the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee with three votes from Democrats.

“In crafting this no-tax increase budget, my colleagues and I made the decision to prioritize education and core government services rather than state employees’ unions,” said Rep. Frey. “A substantial amount of savings in our budget comes from common sense reforms to our bureaucracy that I have advocated for a long time, such as excluding overtime work from public pensions, increasing state employees’ co-pays for healthcare, and ending the practice of the state compensating union stewards for union work. With those savings, we hope to increase education spending, protect core services, and create stability for our cities and towns. I welcome the chance to have a conversation with the governor about using this plan as a foundation for the final budget.”

The Republican budget plan differs from the governor’s in several key areas, including the restoration of municipal aid funding to towns like Ridgefield, specific concessions from state employees’ unions, and established a constitutional spending cap. It also spends $313 million less than the governor’s budget.

“This budget would truly restore confidence in Connecticut at a time when our state finds itself in a historically dismal fiscal crisis. Best of all, taxpayers finally get relief from the constant tax hikes the state has imposed almost annually,” said Rep. Ferguson. “The governor’s plan balances the budget on the backs of property taxpayers and hospitals. Another alternative we’ve heard is to put the burden on commuters and border town residents by imposing tolls. This plan spares these already financially strained and overtaxed groups and asks for specific concessions from state employees’ unions. This proposal advocating for taxpayers must be the starting point for our budget negotiations.”

“Republicans have drafted a well-thought-out, no tax increase budget with numbers vetted by the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis,” said Sen. Boucher. “Cuts were necessary and not everyone is going to like them, but action is necessary to stop the flow of jobs and people who are leaving Connecticut every day. Most importantly, our budget alternative proposal increases education funding and restores money for core services without shifting financial burdens onto towns, hospitals or nonprofits. This provides a blueprint to revive the state’s economy and I look forward to working closely with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put the plan in place to bring more certainty and confidence in the state of CT.”

The Republican budget plan is the only proposal put forth by the legislature so far, with the only current alternative being the governor’s proposal that he announced in February. Legislative Democrats withdrew their proposed budget earlier this week after failing to secure enough votes to approve it and declined to hold a hearing on Thursday for the Republican alternative.