Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele tried to separate himself from the pack of gubernatorial candidates seeking the Republican nomination Wednesday by boldly announcing, if elected, he will not propose tax increases.
“My proposal will not look at revenue,” Fedele said at a Capitol press conference. “We need to look at cutting the size of government and spending.”
The budget the next governor is expected to inherit will need to close a nearly $4 billion deficit.
“If you give me a Republican majority in both chambers I will pledge to you no tax increase,” Fedele said.
Fedele’s budget plan also includes imposing a four-year hiring freeze, bringing the hiring practices of the state university system and the University of Connecticut under the control of the executive branch, eliminating bonding for municipal projects, and eliminating discretionary funds like longevity bonuses. He said the state also needs to look at restructuring state employee pensions and benefits.
In addition to setting out his own agenda Wednesday, Fedele attempted to distance himself from Gov. M. Jodi Rell by talking about how there are disagreements on some issues behind closed doors, but in public he supports her positions.
“There are not all times we agreed and there are not all times we disagreed, but at the end of the day there’s only one governor,” Fedele said.
“Her style of governing is going to be very different than my style of governing,” Fedele said. “I’m not running in anyone’s shadow I’m running as Mike Fedele.”
One of Fedele’s opponents, Tom Foley of Greenwich, said as lieutenant governor Fedele had his chance to governor.
“Mike Fedele has been Lieutenant Governor for more than three years and until now he has offered no plan to steer the state out of its current fiscal crisis,” Foley said in an emailed statement.
“As Lieutenant Governor he is in position to make a difference now and yet it has taken the pressure of an election campaign and outside voices from his own party to force him into producing a plan,” Foley said.
Click here to read Foley’s budget plan.