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Gentile: House Democrats Propose Honest Budget

by State Rep. Linda Gentile | GUEST COLUMN | Jul 5, 2017 11:24 am

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Posted to: Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Guest Column

Last Thursday, State Representatives Themis Klarides and Nicole Klarides-Ditria made a statement in which they criticized the Democrats for not proposing a balanced budget.

However, that same day, the House Democrats presented a revised budget proposal that was honest, balanced, and had the support of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Democratic leadership additionally welcomed Republicans, including Minority Leader Themis Klarides, to discuss this proposal.

For myself and my fellow Democrats, it is important to have a budget that maintains our commitment to our public schools, helps businesses thrive, includes structural changes, and avoids taxing hospitals or increases in property taxes.

This budget proposal also protects the critical services that thousands of residents rely on and invests in Connecticut’s future.

In fact, CCM, (Connecticut Conference of Municipalities) has called it the most honest of budgets that has been presented, as it includes level funding of municipal aid, a new additional revenue option for towns from a portion of the sales tax, and promotes vital economic growth and development.

The Republican caucus has touted their three proposed budgets, but the truth is, those budgets did not have all of these critical components. Additionally, the Republican budget was using unrealistic numbers and therefore could not be achieved.

It is important to note that the House Democrats proposed budget includes ideas from all legislative caucuses, as well as input from municipalities, the business community, hospitals and other constituencies. This is why this budget proposal is honest and fair. It combines the ideas of all parties so that everyone will benefit.

House Democrats have acknowledged that good ideas are not exclusive to a political party and therefore, we have made ourselves available to the Republicans to discuss this budget. We want to work in a bipartisan manner. We want to work collaboratively. Republicans need to come to the table.

The Democrats plan to call for a vote on our proposed budget on Tuesday, July 18.

In the meantime, I urge Republicans, including Klarides and Klarides-Ditria, to meet with Democrats to discuss our budget proposal. I hope they are willing to collaborate with us to pass this balanced and honest budget.

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