FAIRFIELD, Conn. – State Senate Republican leader John McKinney of Fairfield is launching a “Fiscal Responsibility Tour” to talk about the state’s budget, he announced Monday.
McKinney, who represents Fairfield, Easton, Weston, Newtown and parts of Westport in the state Senate, will hold public forums in eight towns: Enfield, Bristol, Danbury, Greenwich, Manchester, Stratford, Wallingford and Westbrook. More dates could be added, he said.
“Over the next two months, there will be a vigorous debate about the direction of our state, and particularly its fiscal management,” McKinney said in a statement. “I want public input to be at the center of this debate. That’s why I’m hosting this tour.”
At each stop, McKinney and the town’s own state legislators will present information about Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed state budget for 2014-15. A question-and-answer session with voters will be held at each stop.
Last month, Malloy announced his 2014-15 state budget proposal, which the state Senate and the state House of Representatives will vote on this spring. He touted the plan as cutting $1.8 billion in spending while also trimming funding to town governments. The proposal also contains no new taxes while reinstating some exemptions on sales taxes, Malloy said.
McKinney, however, called the budget plan “the most dishonest I’ve seen in my 15 years in the legislature.” The proposal increases the state’s spending by $1.8 billion and extends taxes that were set to expire, he said. McKinney added that he expects the final budget to undergo many changes in the state legislature.
“There are simply too many holes in the governor’s budget for it to gain legislative approval without significant changes,” McKinney said in a statement. “I want Connecticut residents to be heard as those changes are being considered by their elected representatives.”
McKinney’s first stop on his tour is March 11 at 7 p.m. at Enfield Town Hall. His three stops in Fairfield County are at 7 p.m. March 14 at Wooster Middle School in Stratford, at 6 p.m. March 27 at the Greenwich Senior Center, and at 7 p.m. April 8 at Broadview Middle School in Danbury.