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Photo of Senator Paul Doyle.

STATE SENATOR

Paul Doyle

My End of Year Report

As we say goodbye to another year, I wanted to send you an end of year recap from my office.

This year we adopted a new state budget after the longest budget impasse in the history of Connecticut. Like me, I know you were frustrated with the lack of a budget resolution. However, this arduous budget process was necessary to achieve a fiscally responsible budget.

Throughout this very intense budget deliberation process, I focused on the budget numbers and I was guided by the belief that our government, like all of us, must live within its means. I, and a few of my colleagues, worked together throughout the summer utilizing pro bono private financial experts to help us define the extent of Connecticut’s current and future budget deficits.

During this difficult budget process, I had to make a very difficult and controversial decision to attempt to push Connecticut into a brighter budget future. My decision helped spur bipartisan budget negotiations, which resulted in a bipartisan budget that I believe is good for Connecticut’s future. Although this budget is not perfect, it began the process of turning Connecticut’s budget ship toward a more reasonable and sustainable future. However, you must recognize that much work needs to be done.

These difficult times led me to make a vote of my conscience that has at its foundation the best interests of the families and taxpayers of the 9th District.

Senator Doyle.
 

Legislative Wrap Up

Many of the critical issues I have worked on in 2017 are the direct result of conversations that I have had with residents just like you.

Expanding Manufacturing Training Opportunities
I worked to pass a bill to increase our pipeline of vo-tech teachers which will also increase the number of students they train, thereby expanding the pool of qualified applicants for manufacturing positions. The law reduces the number of years of industry experience needed for certification, allowing a greater number of more qualified teachers to be certified as a technical high school occupational subjects teacher. The law also requires the Board of Regents to expand the night, weekend and online course offerings for students studying to become manufacturing teachers.

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Cutting Burdensome Regulations on Businesses
I supported an effort to get rid of unnecessary regulations that place an undue burden on manufacturers and make it harder for them to grow and thrive in our state. Manufacturing is a critical part of Connecticut’s economy, and this law will help it continue to grow.

Protecting Our First Responders
As Senate co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, I led a group of bipartisan legislators to pass a law that will increase the penalty for those who make hoax emergency calls to 911 which draw a large response by first responders in a practice known as “swatting.” We must deter people from falsely reporting emergencies to law enforcement, as we have seen happen time after time. It’s a public safety hazard when first responders are diverted away from actual emergencies.

Budget Predictability Plan
I fought to pass a new budget volatility cap to ensure growth in our most unpredictable revenue sources is dedicated to savings and extra debt payments, not new programs. Additionally, our new expenditure cap will prevent the state from budgeting up to the last penny of projected revenues, allowing room for the unexpected. These measures will strengthen the state’s fiscal position, improve our credit rating and help to pay down our debt.

Our Innovation Economy
I worked with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to coordinate efforts across the state, prepare our workforce and position Connecticut as a national leader in biomedical research. We are locked in a global competition to create good-paying jobs and support high-growth industries. With our talented, hardworking and highly educated workforce, Connecticut possesses all of the ingredients to capitalize on the exponential growth that is set to occur in precision medicine and biomedical research.

Combating Hate Crimes
The recent alarming surge in hate crimes must be met with a strong and clear response. That’s why, as Senate co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, I led the passage of legislation to strengthen Connecticut’s hate crime laws, making them the strongest in the nation. It was extremely important that we acted quickly to send a strong message and renounce hate in all its forms.
 

The Year of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement

The bipartisan budget draws upon the best ideas from Democrats and Republicans and I was proud to play a pivotal role in its passage. We worked together as a team for the greater good of Connecticut by:

Protecting Taxpayers & Businesses
The budget does NOT raise income tax rates, sales tax rates, or business tax rates.

Making Budget Cuts & Long-Term Changes
The budget cuts over $2 billion and makes important structural changes resulting in significant long-term savings. The budget also caps state spending and borrowing while paying down the state’s old debts and pensions.

Senator Doyle with students.

Prioritizing Students & Education
While being fiscally responsible, the budget maintains a strong level of local education funding by reversing devastating cuts proposed by the governor. Also it protects college scholarships for low- and middle-income students.

Investing in Our Economy
The budget invests in the innovation economy through competitive grants for our cities and supports our local manufacturers and job-training programs. In addition, the budget invests in new and growing small businesses while focusing on building our emerging bioscience and green energy industries.
 


As always, I am humbled and honored to work for you and represent you in Hartford. Please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know what is important to you, and what you would like me to focus on at the Capitol in 2018. I wish good health and happiness for you and your family in this holiday season and in the coming year.