A Close-Gap Plan by Alex Karsanidi

3/24/16

As any good fisherman knows, the best way to attract sharks is to put "chum" in the water to create a feeding frenzy.  Now that the antics and brilliant strategies Governor Malloy and the Democrat majority in Hartford has succeeded in chasing GE from Connecticut, it is open season for other states to come calling on our businesses to woo them from our shores.  Couple this with the exodus of people, resulting is negative population figures, it would appear the numbers of tax payers is going the wrong way, which means more is required from those left .  Our state business environment being what it is, with deficits only increasing year after year, some hard decisions must be made to steer Connecticut away from the impending financial iceberg.  Which is why Republicans in Hartford are proposing a Deficit Mitigation Package to close the 2016 gap, plus restore important funding to such things as Connecticut Hospitals.

"We have to maintain the core functions of government.  We have to protect the most in need and ensure that our safety net remains intact.  People must come first before politics, which is why Republicans are taking the lead to put our state on a better path.  We are facing the byproduct of failed Democrat fiscal policies, not a new economic reality.  We have been predicting this fiscal crisis for over six years and offered our ideas to address the problems numerous times, but have always  been turned away by the majority", said Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano.

Some features of this mitigation proposal include:
- 2 day furlough for targeted state employees, plus benefit changes in future years.
- 15% cuts to various state accounts.
- 10% pay cut for all lawmakers.
- Elimination of legislator franking privileges (legislative mailers sent during political campaigns).
- Reduction of legislative caucus budgets by $100,000 each.
- Addition reductions in legislative expenditures.   

Republicans are also proposing a list of long-term structural changes to implement savings in future years.  These include: capping state bonding to reduce future debt, mandatory approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly, changes to state employee health and pension benefits, implementing an enforceable state spending cap, establishing an office of overtime accountability, plus many other long overdue changes.

Overall, this plan takes the bold and necessary steps to address the current deficit without cutting funding for hospitals, Medicaid, those with developmental disabilities or need substance abuse treatmentand various other important programs.  More importantly, it includes important tax changes to address the need to improve Connecticut's anti-business environment. 

We can only hope Governor Malloy and Democrat majority in Hartford see the light before there's no one around to pay the electric bill.  If your still around in November, you will have the opportunity to have your concerns heard and see commonsense brought back into government.  It's up to you.  

Alex Karsanidi