In today’s email:
- Budget news: a big vote TODAY
- Two budget proposals
- Early care and education closures
- Federal update: children’s health insurance agreement
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.
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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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.
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
- Census Data Show Robust Progress Across the Board in 2016 in Income, Poverty, and Health Coverage, CBPP
- How Legacy Costs Eat Up Cities' Budgets, Governing Magazine.
- To Insure More Poor Children, It Helps If Parents Are On Medicaid, Kaiser Health News.
- Coming Soon for Expelled Students: A Full-time Education, CT Mirror.
- The bigger the racial generation gap, the lower the level of state-level spending on K-12 education – this is the conclusion of “Bridging the Racial Generation Gap Is Key to America’s Economic Future”, a new report from Policy Link.