For progressives to be successful, we need people to trust government. In 2014 Gov. Malloy ran on the firm pledge that he would not raise taxes. That pledge has been broken. And it was broken in the context of some nimble maneuvering to circumvent the spending cap. … To make government work better we have to keep faith with the people and to do that we have to be better about keeping our word.
As recent decisions by the legislature’s budget committees show, it is not easy to meet the demands of Connecticut’s many human needs while limiting the burden on taxpayers, but solutions do exist and there is evidence they have worked in other states. The Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century (CT21.org), has produced a series of six reports outlining a “Framework for Connecticut’s Fiscal Future.”
When poor and working class people fall farther behind, it soon imposes much higher costs on the state, the costs of failed education, health care, and public safety. We need the budget made at the Capitol to create opportunity for the people who live in its glorious shadow, and thereby improve the quality of life for everyone in Connecticut.
In a harrowing budget season, the legislature’s Appropriations Committee decided to remove a $4 million budget allotment for two new charter schools in our state. What must have been a difficult decision is also a prudent one on our legislators’ part, as our precious resources this budget cycle should go to those schools and programs that serve all students and which serve those children in the greatest need of our support.
The governor’s proposed budget, with $25.5 million cuts to the safety net for people with severe mental illness and substance use problems will have a two-fold effect. No money will be saved, and dollars will shift from evidence-based treatment provided to people in their communities, to a variety of expensive and inappropriate alternatives, such as increased inpatient hospitalizations, emergency room visits, incarceration, and nursing home placements.
Connecticut’s Community Action Agencies, the state and federally designated antipoverty agencies covering every city and town in Connecticut, are dealing with a devastating cut in Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed FY 2016-2017 biennial budget.
For almost a quarter of a century the state has depended on private nonprofit organizations to provide services to people with disabilities in Connecticut. This includes services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and addictions. For over two decades, the average increase to the contracts with these providers has been less than one percent per year.
Connecticut state legislators should not forget about the students of the Connecticut State College and University system when apportioning state support. They have no $86 million dollar reserves to tap into — or $1.8 billion dollar state-funded initiatives to leverage.
As the legislature begins its review of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget, investment in environmental sustainability should be a top concern, and should be reflected in funds allocated to the Department Energy and Environmental Protection.
Once again Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget is targeting Connecticut’s nursing home residents — this time squeezing their personal needs allowance down to $50 a month, some $19 lower than it was in 2011. How can any nursing home resident maintain a decent quality of life on $50 a month?
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s upcoming budget proposal, and the General Assembly’s actions that follow, will either move us forward toward continuing to improve public education or act as an impediment to building upon the progress we’ve made in recent years.