HARTFORD — State Rep. Len Greene (R-Beacon Falls) opposed granting additional rescission authority to Gov. Dannel Malloy to close a $1.6 billion hole in the state budget yesterday.
The budget gap was created when state employee unions rejected a concession package.
Greene said, in a prepared statement, ceding legislative authority to the Governor is not what the people of Connecticut intended when they cast their ballots and a power shift of this magnitude is a slippery slope toward potential abuses between the traditionally separate but equal branches of government.
Along a mostly party-line vote the House of Representatives voted to allow the Governor the authority to make 10 percent cuts to any fund of the state budget and cuts for specific line items without substantive legislative oversight. Authority of this extent has never been granted in the state of Connecticut.
“The Governor said he could fix the $1.6 billion deficit with union concessions that never materialized,” Greene said, in a prepared statement. “Yet last night the Democrat-controlled legislature gave him even more power. Enough is enough. The people of Connecticut elected us to make decisions, not to abdicate our responsibilities to a Governor who hasn’t delivered on his promises for the last six months.”
Connecticut also took a hit recently when bond rating agency Moody’s changed the state’s outlook earlier this week from “stable” to “negative” as a precursor to a downgrade in the bond rating. A rating downgrade will translate into higher interest rates on state borrowing and will send a signal to both businesses and creditors that Connecticut is not in a stable financial position.
“The people of Connecticut woke up this morning to higher income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and new taxes on dozens of previously exempt items like non-prescription medicine and clothing and shoes that cost less than $50 with no relief in sight,” Greene said, in a prepared statement. “It’s certainly a new day in Connecticut, unfortunately, to get through the day it will cost our residents even more money.”