(Updated 6:30 p.m.) Gov. M. Jodi Rell appeared on all the major television networks Monday night and said her budget address Wednesday will not include any new taxes.
“One thing you cannot afford is a higher tax bill,” she said in this statement.
“There will be some, particularly those in government, who say we can’t, we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t cut, we shouldn’t cut so much,” Rell said. “And there will be special interests—many of whom get their money from government—saying, ‘How could you?’”
“They will be calling for new and higher taxes, saying it’s an issue of balance and fairness,” she said. “Of course they will never admit that it’s you who will be paying those taxes, because in the end it always is you.”
In the press room at the Capitol Sen. Andrew Roraback, R-Goshen, watched Rell’s speech with the media. “I think the governor is preparing the state of Connecticut for what is going to be a dramatic and very difficult budget proposal she must deliver on Wednesday,” Roraback said. “If at the end of the day all the spending cuts don’t get us to the finish line then we’re going to have to look at other alternatives.”
Speaker of the House Chris Donovan of Meriden and Senate President Donald Williams of Brooklyn said they weren’t surprised with the tone Rell set in what she admitted was an unusual evening address.
Williams and Donovan said they are keeping an open mind when it comes to the budget.
“I think everyone has said all along that we have to keep everything on the table,” Williams said. “I don’t want to see this budget balanced on the back of just one group like the middleclass.”
Donovan said he will be making sure there’s money for education and money for health care in the budget, but found it hard to take a firm stance on spending and taxes since he has yet to see Rell’s specific budget proposal.
“We know there’s gotta be shared sacrifice across the board in order to get out of this massive fiscal crisis,” Williams said.
“Everyone has said all along that we’ve got to keep everything on the table as we go forward because this crisis is that big, that deep, that wide,” Williams said.
He said he would respond to the specifics on Wednesday.
On Monday the Office of Fiscal Analysis put the 2009 budget deficit at $1.35 billion, the 2010 deficit at $3.97 billion and the 2011 deficit at $4.71 billion.
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