Labriola opposes state budget


David Labriola
David Labriola

HARTFORD — After an all-night session and early morning weekend vote State Rep. David Labriola (R-131) voiced strong opposition to the state budget.

In a press release, Labriola said the budget includes increased spending, the introduction of Keno and the busting of the spending cap.

“The people of Connecticut demand fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, and more jobs,” Labriola said. “The budget which passed provided none of those things.”

The $37.6 billion biennial budget passed the House on a party line vote of 95 to 48 at 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning. The Senate passed the budget 19-17 Monday with three Democrats voting against the budget plan, including state Sen. Joan Hartley (D-15).

Labriola pointed to several measures in the budget he described as controversial pieces. The budget takes about $3 billion a year out of Medicaid spending, thereby ignoring the spending cap; contains no structural cuts, but includes spending increases, which creates a deficit of more than $600 million in the first year after the next biennium; adds Keno gambling in Connecticut; delays the payment of almost $400 million in debt, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary interest charges in the long run; continues to borrow $750 million for cash flow purposes to pay day-to-day operating expenses; sweeps $100 million from the transportation fund and puts it into the general fund thereby reducing the money available for repair of our bridges and roads.

Labriola said as the budget was debated in the House, Republicans offered several alternatives, including amendments that included comprehensive fraud reform and reforming state employee fringe benefits to include pension and health plans that are more like the benefits seen in the private sector.

Those ideas would have provided significant savings in the budget but were rejected along party lines, he said.