Connecticut is broken, ending 1-party rule can help fix it

And so it goes. After the largest and second largest tax increases in Connecticut’s history, the state faces yet more red ink. As the governor and legislature bicker about how to address the increasing shortfalls, revenue continues to fall.

Each day brings a new negative figure and a new desperate cut to address it. State parks and campgrounds close and cut hours, life guards will be at beaches only five days a week. We see employee layoffs, cuts to funding to our towns and schools, cuts to care for the poor, for the mentally ill, for the most vulnerable.

Meanwhile, job losses mount. The state lost 1,400 jobs in May and 1,200 of those were in southeastern Connecticut. Major employers have announced plans to leave or cut jobs — GE, MetLife — is Aetna far behind?

We are told this is the new normal, that Connecticut residents must get used to stagnant growth, declining services, higher taxes. Indeed, despite the assertion that this budget did not increase taxes, the burden has just been passed onto the towns, who are forced to increase property taxes when the state cuts their funding.

The money has to come from somewhere. It comes from the pockets of those Connecticut residents who remain, and that number is shrinking. Each year more of our friends and neighbors pack up and leave and those who stay are forced to watch Connecticut’s version of “Groundhog Day”.

It is time to change. Let’s confront unsupportable state spending and make real structural change. Our neighbor Rhode Island has done it.

Put a moratorium on new state mandates and regulations that saddle towns and businesses with new financial demands and burdens. Insist all new taxes must sunset each year, so legislators must go on the record to continue them. Actually look at which tax incentives work to increase jobs and economic growth and at what price. Look at what other formerly low-growth and business unfriendly states have done to improve their business climate. Ohio went from number 45 in business friendliness to number 10. Florida has rebounded from the recession and the real estate collapse by creating 1 million new jobs.

Above all, change Hartford. Years of one party control in the legislature have brought us to this point. In November, vote for change and send new people with new ideas, new faces, and new energy to save our state.

It is the only hope we have.

Holly Cheeseman is a Republican candidate for the state House of Representatives in the 37th District, serving Waterford and Salem.


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