Bipartisan State Budget
We came together once again on behalf of the people of Connecticut to find common ground and move the state forward. The agreement came before the end of our 2018 General Assembly session – and prior to the start of the new fiscal year beginning July 1
For those of you who either attended a recent forum to discuss tolls, or who contacted me on the issue, rest assured that I have heard your opinions and have not committed on the issue. In fact, I voted for the Republican budget last session that included a temporary State Transportation Fund bonding fix so as to avoid tolls.
While some may say that I am favor of tolls, this is a false narrative. Let me reiterate what I stated at the tolls forum in Milford. Simply, I want more information on the issue. ANY ideas on how to fund the State Transportation Fund (STF) needs to be studied and considered. Bottom line? We need to look for a sustainable way to fund the account so that we can maintain roads and the health and safety of our traveling public.
Here are some key features of the budget agreement:
- Restores municipal aid cuts - resulting in no local tax increase to you
- Restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program that helps low-income elderly individuals and the disabled pay for the cost of medicine and health care premiums. This assures that the 1,500 seniors at risk of losing their Medicare in Milford will still have affordable health care
- Restores $12 million to the Husky A program which assists more than 13,000 people
- Restores solvency to the Special Transportation Fund, helping to avoid transit district cuts, fare increases and keep transportation projects on track. Without this funding commuters from Milford would have seen a 30% increase in fare beginning July 1
- Puts more than a billion dollars into the state’s Rainy Day Fund
While the bipartisan budget agreement is the capstone to a successful legislative session, we also moved forward on many other important issues, including:
- Pay equity, or equal pay for equal work
- Pay increases for home care and group home workers
- Assuring a woman’s right to health care access
- Drug price transparency- it's time to go after big pharma and demand affordable medications.
- A ban on bump stocks to save lives and promote safety
- Assuring the timely handling and processing of sexual assault evidence kits and the compassionate and fair treatment of victims
- A plan to increase the use of clean energy and to fight climate change
- Moved to join the National Popular Vote Compact for direct election of the president
This is all a continued step in the right direction. We have to continue to look for ways to cut spending without losing critical basic human service programs. We need to attract businesses, keep our children safe and in state, allow our seniors to be able to live, work and retire here. We also have to look for ways to increase revenue without raising taxes on our residents.
I hope you share my excitement over these accomplishments as we continue moving Connecticut forward. I look forward to hearing from you on any matter of concern to you.