Last week, State Representative Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-Bristol) voted against a negotiated bipartisan budget plan, stating that while there were some good items contained in the budget, there were also some items that her constituency did not agree with.
“I have a great respect for the leadership who negotiated this budget. My vote is based on conversations and meetings with the residents who live and work in my district. They overwhelmingly urged me to vote ‘no’ on this budget. My first priority is to reflect their views,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato.
While the two-year budget included positive change in the area of municipal mandate reform, the inclusion of some tax hikes and fee increases while also borrowing money to bail out struggling Hartford sends the wrong message to struggling Connecticut taxpayers who find it more and more expensive to live in this state.
“The one thing I heard over and over from residents in my district was that they were adamantly opposed to bailing out Hartford and providing funding for the XL Center. Taxpayers are asking for relief, and they were not willing to give money to a city that refuses to get its fiscal house in order, and especially not at the expense of closing critical programs that our most vulnerable citizens rely on, like individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Pavalock-D’Amato.
Pavalock-D’Amato also pointed out that because the legislators only received the full 881-page budget document the morning of the vote, that she felt she did not have enough time to review the tenants of the document, “Two hours is not nearly enough time to review the 881 pages before us. I did not have enough time to review all of the provisions contained in the budget, and I was simply not comfortable casting my vote not knowing exactly was I was voting on, including the possibility of potentially damaging policies, and therefore I cast my vote in the negative.”
The budget passed the Senate by a vote of 33-3 Wednesday evening and by 126-23 in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The budget awaits action from the governor.