Fairfield legislators hail compromise state budget agreement

Laura Devlin, Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick

State Representatives Brenda Kupchick (R-132), Laura Devlin (R-134) along with Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) joined their fellow House and Senate Republican and Democrat colleagues in supporting the compromised budget SB-543, brought forth Wednesday night.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle voted overwhelmingly 142-8 in favor of the compromise, which does not include tax increases, no tolls, or many of the other items proposed during the shortened session.

This budget proposal provides $16 million in additional funding for the Retired Teachers’ Health Care Fund, fully restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program to 211%, restores funding for programs that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and provides $2 million to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. All municipal aid and ECS funding also remain whole in 2019.

“This is about creating much-needed stability and predictability – for taxpayers, for businesses, for towns, for seniors, for schools, and for our most vulnerable residents,” Sen. Hwang said. “This budget adjustment protects funding for our community while not raising taxes.  This budget is a thoughtful bipartisan product, but we must still work to address long-term structural budgetary issues such as pension, debt service and runaway benefit costs. Challenging and difficult decisions are ahead and we must show courage, leadership and a commitment to common sense values.”

Rep. Kupchick said, “I’m encouraged after a difficult legislative session both sides of the aisle could come together and craft a bipartisan agreement that funds Connecticut’s transportation fund without the burden of tolls, funds education, restores the vital Medicare savings plan while stopping fare hikes on rail commuters while funding our fire training schools and protecting Connecticut’s most vulnerable citizens”.  

“This budget agreement was a win for Fairfield taxpayers. I am proud that we were able to work together in assuring this budget protected our state education aid and did not bring to massive burden of tolls back to our state highways,” Rep. Devlin said. “It is nice to see Republicans and Democrats working alongside one another to move Connecticut forward in a positive way.”

In addition, Republicans were able to negotiate a hiring freeze on new state employees saving the state $7 million. Vo-Ag Students will receive an additional $12.5 million in support, set aside $5 million for emergency placement for Department of Developmental Services, and provides almost $30 million more to the Special Transportation Fund. It also prevents Governor Malloy’s increases to bus and train fairs that were expected to take place onJuly 1st and also includes language that would prevent his ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did after last year’s bipartisan agreement.

This compromise prevents the governor from running the state via executive order and subjecting municipalities to severe cuts that would have come as a result.

Once adopted, the budget would take effect on July 1. This bill now heads off to the governor’s desk for his signature.

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