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To all West Hartford residents,
There was a State budget passed in the House and Senate last Friday. While that may not sound all that impressive, it actually was for a few reasons. The obvious reason is that our elected representatives are over three months late on this primary task. Even more impressive, is that a Republican budget was passed, for the first time in nearly 40 years. Actual bipartisanship happened, albeit a little, with a few Democratic Representatives and Senators joining with their Republican colleagues to pass a budget. It’s an unfortunate sign of the times that this is such an unusual occurrence. It is important to note that the Governor has already said he plans to veto the budget that was passed, with no tax increases, maintaining services and providing more municipal aid than either the Democrats or the Governor himself.
There has been a lot of misinformation out there about this process. Please know that the Republican budget, and many revisions over the past 5 months have been available for anyone in the public to review. Many Democrats complained they hadn’t seen the budget until last minute, when in reality they never took the time to review it because they never thought it would come up for a vote. Meanwhile Democratic leaders never released an agreed upon budget between the House and Senate at all during that time period and were planning to ram through a budget at the last minute that no one on either side of the aisle would have had time to review, until they ultimately failed at even that.
The question you should ask yourselves is how did our State Representatives and State Senator vote on the budget that passed. The answer is they all voted against it. Our Democratic Mayor and majority town councilors have been saying for months that they have been in frequent contact with all of them and that we could be assured that they were going to fight for West Hartford, that they would ensure fair funding levels for our town.
Apparently, that was only if it was a Democratic budget. What are the mayor’s and majority town councilors plans now? The answer is they have none, there is no contingency, they had put all their eggs in one basket and now we are left holding the bag as a community.
Keep in mind that the Republican budget restored State funding of our town to 2017 levels to the tune of 28 million dollars. That is significantly more than what the majority Democrats were proposing in their budget that wasn’t passed. Our elected officials decided to vote no on a budget that had more money coming to us than their own party’s budget in favor of the Governor’s executive order that on October 1st stipulates our town receives zero funding. 28 million to zero was the choice and they chose zero.
We should be asking each and every one of them how that is fighting for West Hartford, how that is representing their constituents. What could be more important? The answer is nothing, they are there to represent their constituents and to make sure that West Hartford gets its fair share.
They had one job. And they failed.