Republicans put out their own budget proposal today which does not raise taxes, eliminates public financing of elections, and consolidates agencies.
Here are the highlights:
- Early retirement to save more than $285 million
- State worker concessions for salary, health care and pension benefits that save $662 million
- Folding 23 agencies into six and implementing a hiring freeze to reduce overhead costs. Two more agencies would be merged into the General Fund
- Overhauling the higher education bureaucracy that duplicates services and drives up tuition for families struggling to pay for college
- Preserving school and municipal aid
- Using the Rainy Day Fund for what it was intended – fiscal distress
- Imposing $900 million in hard cuts
- Restoring $25 million in municipal aid cut by Democrats and the $500 property tax credit for families earning as little as $46,000
- Engaging private companies that can perform duties such as state park maintenance
So there you have it–a budget alternative that, because the party proposing it has so few members in either chamber, will never come close to passage. It’s possible that a few of these ideas will make it into the final budget, but that isn’t something the GOP should count on.
So why do it? Because it’s a chance for the opposition party to show how it would, should voters ever decide to elect a GOP majority, govern.