Voices from the Capitol (XXXV): A Budget that Represents Our Values

Back • September 25, 2017 • Uncategorized

In today’s email:

A Budget that Represents Our Values

Connecticut's budget provides the clearest statement of its values and priorities. Our state's stalemate thus reflects long-running debates over what exactly those values and priorities should be. The intensity of the discussion and the passionate disagreements it has engendered demonstrate both the depth of our fiscal woes and the importance of the issues at hand.

No single party or faction has all the answers. At this point, compromise is necessary to move forward, and the only way to reach a compromise is to look to values shared by all involved. We believe that the state budget should be grounded in three guiding values:

  • Economic Growth: Connecticut's budget should promote increased prosperity for all its residents.

  • Equity: Connecticut's budget should help ensure that all residents have an equitable opportunity to thrive.

  • Structural Integrity: Connecticut's budget should ensure a sustainable, accountable, and independent government.

As lawmakers and the Governor gather again to continue negotiations, we urge them to return to these values, which have defined our priorities as a state. In our new policy brief, we highlight several policies from both budgets that are consistent with these values, mapping out a way forward for Connecticut.

Click here to open the report.

The Budget: Next Steps

Last week both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed a budget which Governor Malloy has announced he will veto.

As we mentioned in our policy brief last week, the budget adopted by the General Assembly  includes deep cuts to higher education, college scholarships, and health coverage; increases taxes for low-income families, and relies on hypothetical future savings to balance. We need a budget that will grow the economy, reduce the drastic disparity in opportunity afforded to our children and families, and enact meaningful structural reform.   

Governor Malloy vetoing the budget creates an opportunity to build a budget that better contributes to economic growth, equity, and structural integrity than either of the previous proposals. Time is of the essence. Without a passage of budget come October 1st, municipalities will not receive a significant portion of education cost-sharing funding and municipal aid grants.

Call to Action: Ask Malloy to Veto this Budget

Both budget proposals voted on last Friday fail to build strong foundations for economic growth, promote equitable opportunity for all its residents, or put the state on solid fiscal footing.

This is why we ask you to call Governor Malloy today and ask him to veto the budget proposal passed by the legislature. The document that Governor Malloy has on its desk looks backward, protecting old ways of doing business. We need a budget that looks forward, invests in our shared success, and assures accountability and transparency in our governance.  

Please call Governor Malloy at 1 (800) 406-1527 and ask him to veto the budget.

Want More Action Alerts?

As the budget negotiations continue, we will be sending more action alerts to our "Voices from the Capitol" mailing list. Make sure you are subscribed here.

Federal Update: The ACA and Medicaid at Risk – Again

Last week, we mentioned that Senate Republicans were again considering another bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The proposal, promoted by Senators Cassidy and Graham, has gained traction in recent days and it is slated to come up for a vote on the Senate floor next week.

The Cassidy-Graham bill is in many ways a more radical break with the ACA than previous repeal attempts. At its core, the bill takes all the current ACA funding dedicated to Medicaid and premium subsidies and transfers them to the states, reducing funding levels every year until 2026, and completely eliminating funding thereafter. The bill also redistributes funding in a way that greatly penalizes states that expanded Medicaid. As a result, Connecticut will lose more than $2.3 billion in funding by 2026, with devastating effect for families and children across the state. To make things worse, the funding comes with few restrictions, allowing states to gut protections for people with preexisting conditions.

Our Senate delegation firmly opposes the bill. It is unclear, right now, if Republicans have enough votes to pass the repeal bill. We encourage you to call Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy and thank them for their opposition to this bill.

What We Are Reading

We envision a Connecticut that creates opportunity for everyone, not just the lucky and privileged few. Together, we can ensure a prosperous future for all of our children.

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