Connecticut's budget deficit is And at Monday night's Patch debate, State Representative candidates Themis Klarides and Aldon Hynes addressed the matter directly after a question from moderator Jean Rabinow.
Klarides pointed to increases in taxes and spending over the past few years.
"We always talk about Republicans, Democrats, who wants to raise taxes, who wants to cut," Nobody wants to cut ... I certainly don't want to, but it's about being responsible. And the question is, when Moody's and Fitch and every single place says we're the worst or one of the few worst business-friendly places, when our bond rating gets downgraded because we can't sustain, there's a problem."
Klarides pointed to Medicaid fraud prevention as a method of saving money.
"We could save hundreds of millions of dollars," she said. "That's not cutting anybody."
Hynes agreed with Klarides on Medicaid fraud prevention as an option, but suggested other improvements to Medicaid.
"The most obvious place to cut is in the unefficiencies," said Hynes. "I work for a community health center. And our center sees many medicaid patients every day. And by getting Medicaid patients primary care instead of waiting for them to go to the emergency room, there's considerable savings to be made."
Hynes brought up programs like First Five, a business incentive program launched in 2011.
"Every program needs a good critical eye in the places we're just not getting the return on what they're trying to do -- that's where we need to be doing our cuts."
See the above video for the full discussion, including rebuttals from Klarides and Hynes.