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Photo of Senator Cathy Osten.

STATE SENATOR

Cathy Osten

Getting Results

Recent Legislative Action

The Appropriations Committee on which I serve as a co-chair took an important step in protecting thousands of jobs in Connecticut when it gave bipartisan approval to Senate Bill 957, An Act Concerning the Regulation of Gaming and the Authorization of a Casino Gaming Facility in the State.

Appropriations Committee members clearly recognize the value of saving jobs in Connecticut, jobs that are in most cities and towns in the state. There are 140 communities in Connecticut that send 12,000 employees to work in the gaming industry every day. The bill now heads to the state Senate for a vote, and I plan to give it my full support.

session

Last week, I joined the unanimous and bipartisan Senate passage of bill to prevent the practice in Connecticut of so-called 'conversion therapy,' a discredited practice in which a health care provider attempts to counsel and change a minor's sexual orientation. This 'science' has been conclusively debunked, and leads to more harm than help. It's good for Connecticut to outlaw this practice not only on the basis that it's a sham health care service, but also because of the negative message it sends to gay and lesbian teenagers, that somehow their sexuality is not normal and needs to be corrected.

Finally, I am lending my support to a Democratic Budget Predictability Plan that would help Connecticut avoid future revenue volatility while simultaneously reducing the chance of unpredictable budget deficits and paying down some underfunded liabilities. Our plan permanently caps the amount of revenue that the state can expect to collect every year from its highly volatile estimates & finals (mostly capital gains) portion of the state income tax; the plan caps those estimates at $3.1 billion per year, the current year's collection rate, and does not assume any more revenue will be collected from Connecticut's wealthiest residents. Any revenues that might be collected above that would be dedicated to increasing the state's budget reserve (known as the 'Rainy Day Fund') or making payments on unfunded liabilities, such as employee retirement pensions.

VIDEO: Budget predictability

We introduced this plan because in three of the past four years, executive and legislative budget analysts have been unable to accurately predict our income tax revenues, and the results have varied from alarming to disastrous. We cannot continue to grow Connecticut and provide the quality of life and jobs that our residents desire if we are hamstrung by decreasing revenues and increasing fixed costs. This proposal helps by capping the amount of revenue we can expect to collect from Connecticut's ultra-wealthy residents, and the less revenue we have to spend, the more austere our budgets will be. But we'll have fewer nasty budget surprises. I think it's a trade-off worth making.