Voices from the Capitol (XXXIV): Budget Day

Back • September 15, 2017 • Uncategorized

In today’s email:

Budget News: a Big Vote Today

The Connecticut General Assembly is planning on voting on a new budget today. There are two proposals on the table; a new budget agreement between the Governor and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, and an updated Republican proposal. House Democrats have said that they plan to bring their proposal to a vote; Republican leaders are expecting that the House will also consider their budget and bring it to a floor vote.

Some of final details are still unclear, but here is what we know about these two proposals. Neither offers a truly balanced approach: one that includes both shared sacrifice and shared opportunity, addresses the structural causes of our persistent deficits, and makes strategic investments in children as part of of equitable growth strategy.

You can download our policy report here, with a brief analysis of each budget area based on the information currently available.

Still Important: Call Your Legislators

The solution to Connecticut’s budget woes lies not with a pure austerity approach, tax hikes for working families, or short-term revenue tweaks. Rather we need a new approach, a balanced approach, grounded in a commitment to economic growth, shared prosperity, and equitable opportunity for every child in our state.

Neither of these budget proposals follow this path. It is time to call your legislators and ask for a better approach.

As the General Assembly heads for what could be the final budget vote, now it is the time to call your legislators and voice your support for a balanced budget approach that builds a strong foundation for the future. Let’s support strategic economic growth grounded in a firm commitment to equitable opportunity. It is the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do.

Click here to find your legislator – contact them today.

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Early Care and Education Closures

In a new blog post, Daniel Long, our Senior Education Policy Fellow, talks about how child care center closures have increased by 55 percent in Connecticut in 2016-2017 compared to the previous year:

Affordable quality child care is essential to promote healthy child development, enable parents to work, and ensure that children enter school ready to learn. Recent data show an alarming decline in the number of child care providers in our state. This decline both puts an already strained childcare system in danger and poses a threat to workforce preparedness and economic growth.   

 

Federal Update: CHIP Agreement

There have been some new developments in health care at the Federal level this week. First, The Senate Finance Committee announced an agreement to extend funding for the CHIP program for 5 years and maintain the current funding level until 2019 (see our brief for more on CHIP in Connecticut). While the state will need to plan carefully for the lower match after 2019, this could be good news IF a bill that reflects this agreement passes before September 30 (when prior funding expires).  

Second, Senate Republicans are making another push to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The plan being debated would be hugely damaging for Connecticut, reducing Medicaid funding by more than $2.2 billion. As of now, passage seems unlikely, but we will be tracking this bill closely.

What We Are Reading