FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield state Reps. Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchik are opposing Gov. Dannel Malloy's state budget plan.
The two representatives voiced their opinions during the Saturday, May 3, late-night House session, citing the "budget’s highly questionable revenue estimates and dubious accounting practices," according to a press release.
"The $19 billion budget introduced by the legislature’s majority Democrats has been widely criticized for employing a number of gimmicks and budgetary sleight of hand," said a press release. "The questionable accounting in the budget was exacerbated earlier in the week when consensus revenue estimates showed that an assumed $500 million surplus talked about since the beginning of the year by Gov. Malloy had dwindled to just over $40 million, after tax revenues came in far lower than had been projected earlier in the year."
Hwang said he was disappointed in the budget process.
“I understand the incredible budgetary constraints confronted by the legislature but the majority demonstrated a lack of leadership in fairly representing a balanced approach to governing," he said. "Our budgetary process for the past three years has been extremely partisan without Republican input in the decision-making process. The majority leadership has increased the scope and size of government with record setting tax increases to create an unsettling result of poor economic index and rankings and most importantly a loss of confidence by our residents in making a positive turnaround."
Hwang and Kupchick said "the budget was declared balanced by the majority party, but relied on a number of gimmicks."
The pair agreed the following "gimmicks" existed in the budget, according to the release:
- Counting $75 million in unspecified “miscellaneous” tax collections
- Expecting $143 million in budget lapses
- Ignoring $52 million in contractually obligated payments for retiree healthcare
- Delaying repayment of $196 million in economic recovery notes
- Raiding $18 million from the Special Transportation Fund
- Moving $65 million to accounts outside the general fund
"Connecticut simply can't continue on the path of spending more than we make," Kupchick said. "The practice of ignoring pension obligations, raiding special funds, taxing retiree benefits, overtaxing businesses that create job opportunities and using assumed revenues to balance the budget is driving polls like the one that recently reported half of Connecticut residents want to leave our state. One party rule in Connecticut's legislature is having a severely negative impact on our future."