State Representative David Yaccarino and his legislative colleagues in the General Assembly convened for a special session on December 8 called by Gov. Malloy to deal with the $358 million budget shortfall facing the state.
For the last two months, Republican and Democrat leadership and Governor Malloy have engaged in budget discussions to try and close the budget hole, but talks failed when Democrats refused to include long-term structural reforms as part of the final deficit mitigation plan.
“This is not an honest attempt to right the state of Connecticut’s financial situation,” said Rep. Yaccarino. “We are elected to create meaningful policy, which should be drafted to do what’s right for the people of this state as a whole. There is no meaningful change in this patch work proposal. My goal is always to do the most good for the most people, and this proposal doesn’t come close to that. It is just a political ploy by the majority party; they are just continuing to kick the can down the road instead of addressing the root cause of the problem.”
“After weeks of bipartisan budget negations, I am disappointed that the majority-party Democrats and Governor Malloy do nothing to address the necessary, long-term structural changes that would bring about meaningful reform and put Connecticut back in the right direction. I simply could not support a budget proposal that I know will put our state in the same position we have been in the past, on top of passing devastating cuts that will harm the hospitals, businesses and science research industries. They even cut funding for school bus seat belts! Connecticut is facing a massive deficit of $500 million for fiscal year 2016 and $3.5 billion in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, and there is a strong possibility that the majority party will simply pass another tax increase to make up for the budget deficit,” he added.
An amendment was put forth by House Republicans which included the same changes to the unitary tax as the proposed plan, however, the Republican plan did not make any cuts to hospitals or to vital social services, and instead focused on long-term structural changes. Yaccarino supported the amendment, which was defeated along party lines by a vote of 63 to 77.
The final deficit mitigation plan passed along party lines by a vote of 75 to 65.