Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

May 6, 2021

Looney, Duff Call on Republicans to Do Their Job and Submit a State Budget

With no responsible budget alternatives, Republicans fail CT and their constituents

HARTFORD, CT – Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) today called on their Republican colleagues in the state House and Senate to submit a fully vetted, biennial state budget proposal, even though the deadline for such budget ideas in the current 2021 session officially passed two weeks ago, on April 23.

Connecticut Republicans have now failed to propose any alternative state spending and revenue plan for three years in a row: 2019, 2020, and now again in 2021.

“For all their posturing and pontificating in attacking our budget proposal, these criticisms are meaningless when Republicans don’t submit any budget alternatives of their own — or even exhibit any willingness to engage in the process of making a budget — outside of their attempts to discredit ours,” said Senator Looney. “Connecticut Republicans have all but abandoned their duty to present a specific competing budget vision while Democrats continue to push forward, proposing responsible balanced plans to meet Connecticut’s pressing needs.”

“Republicans are busy attacking the biennial state budget plan put forth by Democrats, but once again they’ve failed to do their own homework and submit a budget with alternative spending and revenue numbers,” said Senator Duff. “Democrats have proposed a budget that increases funding for education, cities and towns, and non-profits. It’s out there. These are our priorities. I remember four years ago, on the floor of the House, when we debated and passed a bipartisan state budget, Representative Klarides said that legislators are sent to the General Assembly to make tough choices and do the people’s business. And I agree with that. So I say today, where are those Republican choices?”

Sens. Looney and Duff said the lack of any Republican budget over the past three years to fund the public policy proposals that they either accept or reject stands in stark contrast to the 2017 bipartisan state budget, which was crafted after months of challenging negotiations with the input of former Senate Republican leader Leonard Fasano and former House Republican leader Themis Klarides, and which has since benefitted Connecticut and its economy.

In part, that 2017 bipartisan state budget has helped Connecticut amass its largest state budget reserve (the so-called “Rainy Day Fund”), which today stands at $3.5 billion and is buttressing Connecticut’s economic position while assisting in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year Connecticut Republicans made a public case for electing Republican legislative majorities based partly on the need for new budget ideas.

“As your state senator,” said Senate Republican Minority Leader Kevin Kelly in early 2020, “it is my responsibility to not only fight against bad policies, but also to offer solutions and present a better way to help our state without hurting taxpayers and without taking more of their hard-earned dollars.”

But Sen. Kelly and Senate Republicans have not proposed a state budget. They have, however, endorsed a Republican plan to raid 65 percent of Connecticut’s Rainy Day Fund in order to spend it on transportation-related infrastructure needs.

“If we had agreed with the Republican plan to spend two-thirds of the Rainy Day Fund, where would we be now?” said Sen. Looney. “Almost every time Republicans propose budget ideas, they prove to be dead wrong for the average Connecticut family. It’s now time for them to stop merely criticizing and to go on record with an alternative plan.”

The Senate Democratic leaders encourage residents to sign their petition calling on Republicans to propose a state budget at