Kupchick fights for a real enforceable state spending cap

To better define and control state expenses in Connecticut’s state budget, State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) testified on a proposed bill which ensures that Connecticut’s budgetary spending will be more responsible.   

Over the last 10 years, the General Assembly has found it increasingly difficult to live within the cap as Medicaid, and rising retirement benefit costs take more and more spending room under the cap.

“The aim of this measure allows Connecticut’s spending to grow at a similar rate to the rest of Connecticut’s economy, and will ultimately help to combat deficit growth in the state,” said Rep. Kupchick. “We need to better define our state spending cap; to pass the spending cap without this provision could open the door to political manipulation of the spending cap in future sessions and legislatures.”  

The budget reform proposal is HB 6734: An Act Defining Terms Pertaining to the Constitutional Spending Cap. The legislation codifies state law by stating that growth in general budget expenditures for any fiscal year will be tied to the previous fiscal year’s percentage increase in both personal income and inflation. The proposal also defines explicitly expenditures that will not be considered general budget expenditures. These include expenditures of payment of principal and interest on debt, those pursuant to section 4-30g of the general statutes; those made out of any federal grant funding, and those for the implementation of new federal mandates or court orders.

After implementation of the state income tax, an overwhelming percentage of voters in 1992 approved a Constitutional Spending Cap (80%) to keep budget growth in line with increases in inflation and personal income,” said Rep. Kupchick. “Unfortunately, frustrated taxpayers over the years have watched the state’s budget balloon into a once unimaginable amount.The original intent of the spending cap was to keep spending in line with inflation and actual increases in personal income.”

Since 1992, Connecticut’s population only grew by 9%, inflation rose 67%, and state spending has increased by 201%. Yes, you read that correctly, state spending has increased by 201% since Connecticut voters asked their lawmakers to enforce a state spending cap.

The Connecticut attorney general has reported the current state constitutional spending cap is unenforceable because the legislature failed to define its parameters.

The bill now awaits further action in the Appropriations committee.

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

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