Pass a Budget with No Tax Increases
Yesterday I testified before the Appropriations Committee on behalf of CBIA and its member businesses in favor of a proposal to adjust state expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 2017.
We strongly support this bill.
I recognize that Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget plan is a tough one, with some painful adjustments.
But as the governor and OPM Secretary Ben Barnes have said, the times demand it.
Connecticut faces serious economic issues that impact state revenues and up the risk that we’ll keep losing companies as well as the investments and jobs they bring.
At yesterday’s public hearing, Sen. Bill Formica asked, “What is the single biggest thing that the state–that we–can do to send a message to the business community that we want people to stay in Connecticut, both residents and businesses?”
This is where state government can play a huge role. If we show that we can put our fiscal house in order, that we’re serious about doing it, it would go far toward restoring business confidence.
When businesses aren’t sure they can afford to operate here, it becomes harder to keep good jobs in Connecticut.
It becomes harder for our children to find those jobs and make their homes here.
And harder for retirees to afford to stay here.
Many people believe that budget cuts, by their very nature, have a negative impact on certain programs and people.
But that isn’t necessarily the case. In my testimony, I urged lawmakers to review a report that offers numerous recommendations that, if implemented, could generate additional savings for the state without hurting essential programs or the clients and citizens they serve.
The best social program you can give people is good jobs and job opportunity.
We can be on our way to achieving that, and this budget plan is a step in the right direction.
Now's the time for this committee and the legislature to do serious work on our fiscal condition.
Now is the time to remain prudent about spending and to seek out and seize opportunities for cost savings.
Now is the time to safeguard operational investments that reduce costs over the long run in areas like social services and corrections.
It’s also the time to safeguard careful, calculated investments that enhance economic expansion.
This budget--and its underlying principles--gives us a starting point.
Pete Gioia is an economist with CBIA. Follow him on Twitter @CTEconomist.
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