Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Marpe Urges Legislators to Vote ‘No’ on State Budget

In a letter to the four state legislators who represent Westport, First Selectman Jim Marpe today urged them to vote “no” Thursday on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s state budget proposal, as it shifts the burden of teacher pensions to municipalities.

“I would like to state my strong opposition to such a proposal and urge you to vote against any final budget that includes this shift in responsibility for pension funding from the state to our towns and cities,” Marpe wrote in a letter addressed to state Sens. Toni Boucher and Tony Hwang, and Reps. Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg. All but Steinberg are Republicans.

“We should not be responsible for a pension liability that we did not negotiate,” Marpe said.

He added that the burden of the state costs shifted to municipalities would “likely grow exponentially overtime.”

“The additional burden this will place on Westport’s town and school budgets will be significant,” Marpe said. “It will require Westport to take actions that will negatively impact our residents and property values.”

He added that Westport would be forced to increase property taxes, cut vital services and reduce its reserve funds if such a provision passes in the budget.

“This is both unfair and unsustainable,” Marpe said. “While there is a need to look at the way education and related pension funds are funded in Connecticut, this is not the appropriate way to start that discussion.”

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