State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) will spend the next several weeks traveling Connecticut on a "Fiscal Responsibility Tour" to discuss Gov. Dannel Malloy's Fiscal Year 2014-15 budget proposal.
McKinney hopes to gather public input ahead of the legislative debate on the budget proposal.
"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 the press release announcing the tour.
"I want public input to be at the center of this debate. That’s why I’m hosting this tour."
The tour will kick off on Monday, March 11, at the Enfield Town Hall Council Chambers. McKinney is scheduled to visit eight towns, but more stops could be added.
Each stop will include a brief presentation of the governor's budget proposal and an update on the budget process in the General Assembly. There will then be an extensive question and answer period for the general public. Members of the Senate Republican Caucus will join Sen. McKinney at events in their respective districts.
McKinney wants to "listen and learn" to the public's concerns.
“Two years ago, when Gov. Malloy was proud of his budget he went on a statewide tour to promote his vision of ‘shared sacrifice.’ That vision never materialized," McKinney said.
"Instead, government spending increased, promised savings from state employee unions were never achieved, and hardworking taxpayers were disproportionately burdened with the largest tax hike in our state’s history. But, I think it is more important than ever for the legislature and the governor to hear from the people of Connecticut."
The other purpose of the tour is to educate, according to the release. McKinney cites a "number of areas" where Malloy's rhetoric "simply doesn't match the reality of his proposal."
"For example, he claims $1.8 billion in cuts, but his budget actually spends $1.8 billion more over the next two years. And he promised no new taxes, but instead extended several taxes that were set to expire. People deserve to know the truth, so we will spend some time on this tour separating fact from fiction," McKinney said.
He added that he expects the budget that passes through Connecticut's legislature will look much different from the current proposal.
Here are the dates and times of the eight scheduled tour stops -- all events are open to the public:
- Enfield: Monday, March 11, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Enfield Town Hall Council Chambers, 820 Enfield Street
- Stratford: Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Wooster Middle School Auditorium, 150 Lincoln Street
- Wallingford: Monday, March 18, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Wallingford Public Library Community Room, 200 North Main Street
- Bristol: Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Bristol City Hall Council Chambers, 111 North Main Street
- Greenwich: Wednesday, March 27, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Greenwich Senior Center, 299 Greenwich Avenue
- Manchester: Monday, April 1, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Manchester Town Hall, 41 Center Street
- Danbury: Monday, April 8, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Broadview Middle School Auditorium, 72 Hospital Avenue
- Westbrook: Tuesday, April 9, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Westbrook Public Library, 61 Goodspeed Road