Bipartisan Budget Passes House And SenateOctober 27, 2017
I am pleased that we were able to come together to craft a budget that does not raise income, corporate or sales taxes and puts Connecticut on a more correct path toward solvency. The massive education cuts we faced in earlier proposals have thankfully been rejected for East Hartford and other towns.
Earlier this year, Governor Malloy proposed changes in education cost sharing (ECS) grants - the main source of state education funding for many towns. This, coupled with his proposal to require towns to contribute 1/3 of the cost of their teacher pensions, would have cost communities $400 million.
Lengthy negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate led to this budget agreement which includes elements proposed from all caucuses, avoids drastic cuts under the governor’s executive orders, and mitigates municipal aid that would have otherwise resulted in devastating impact to cities and towns.
The House of Representatives voted 126 to 23 in favor of a bipartisan state budget that places Connecticut in a position of fiscal stability and predictability. It refrains from increases to the income, sales, and corporate taxes and protects Connecticut’s social service and municipal funding programs making significant structural reforms. Several weeks into the new fiscal year, East Hartford would have faced draconian cuts in municipal aid and education funding.
- Restores funding for scholarships for low and middle-income students
- Enacts a state spending and bonding cap
- Maintains the property tax credit of $200 for seniors and families with dependents
- Continues investments in job creation programs such as the Small Business Express, Manufacturing Assistance, Innovation Places and Brownfield Remediation
- Protects our community hospitals by maximizing federal funds
- Cuts $1.5 billion in State employee costs
- Makes targeted spending cuts, reductions to agency accounts, and rolls forward lapses made last year excluding cuts to core services.
- Implements overtime savings of 10 percent and a hiring freeze on non-24-hour non-union positions.
- Manageable reductions to higher education institutions including a $134 million reduction to UConn and UConn health, while aid for scholarships for low and middle-income students was preserved.
- Includes policy changes that will shape the state’s future and put CT on healthier financial footing. These changes include an enforceable spending cap, bonding cap of $1.9 billion, municipal mandate relief, and additional policy changes for long term savings