Years of bad policies in Hartford have led to our state’s economy lagging behind the rest of the country. We have all seen the lists of lasts and the statistics about Connecticut’s job losses and lack of wage growth. We can’t forget that behind those numbers are people, families struggling to get ahead.
I approached the state budget as my constituents do, as a taxpayer, a parent, and a small businesswoman.
This budget squeezes the middle class from every direction. Residents will have to pay more at the grocery store, the dry cleaners, restaurants, and pay more for online services such as Netflix.
We paid lip-service to make our state friendlier to businesses, on the one hand, we are eliminating the Business Entity Tax, but on the other, we are raising license fees. Additionally, our small businesses are taking a direct hit with a new $50 million tax on pass-through entities.
As a new legislator, I was looking forward to a bi-partisan budget debate. During the nine-hour discussion, Republicans proposed amendments to offer a better path for our state. Since we are a minority party, this was our opportunity to work with the other side of the aisle. We offered amendments to stop fee increases, to make sure revenues aren’t diverted away from the Special Transportation Fund and to stop tax increases on small businesses.
We had a chance to set a new direction, instead, the entrenched Democrat majorities in the House and Senate chose to repeat the bad habits that created our fiscal crisis.
The bottom line is this, the budget increases spending, increases taxes and increases borrowing. Our children and grandchildren who stay in Connecticut will suffer from added debt and our inability to get our finances in order. We need to do better for our citizens.