The current state budget, with the $350 million deficit, was adopted last September without any Republican votes. For the last 8 months, state operated with a growing deficit due largely to the inaction of the legislature.
With record unemployment and with both families and employers alike pinching pennies, Rep. Hamzy expressed now is not the time to raise taxes or utility prices for families or those providing their jobs. “The Democrats raised taxes last September by $1.2 billion and we are still facing a $700 million gap. Raising taxes when we have record high unemployment at over 9 percent is not the answer,’’ he said.
Republicans said they are prepared to vote to eliminate the projected deficit for the 2011-12 budget year beginning July 1. The budget hole, he said, can be filled with targeted spending reductions, government efficiencies and no tax hikes. Republicans in the House refused to consider any tax increases on income, sales, large family homes, electrical bills, hotel rooms, or hospitals to cover the deficit. Rep. Hamzy specifically opposed any version of proposed tax hikes on sick people who become hospitalized, insisting that could not be part of any deficit mitigation plan.
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