A Better Approach to Budgeting: Concerns about the Austerity Approach of State Budget Proposals

Back • Publication Date: May 4th, 2017

Authors: Derek Thomas, M.P.A., Ellen Shemitz, J.D., & Ray Noonan

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Connecticut’s budget is the clearest statement of its policy priorities. As such, it should prioritize revenue and expense options that advance long-term inclusive economic prosperity, improve equity, and prepare our children for success. In this policy brief we compare the state budget proposals from the Governor, Legislature, and Republican leadership. We conclude that all three adopt an unbalanced approach that fails to address Connecticut’s long-term structural challenges.

The three proposals include deep cuts to crucial programs and services for children and low-income families. Health insurance, workforce development, social services, and early care and education undergo the worst of the cuts. None of the proposals address an outdated tax code that does not align with today’s economy, and all three include both tax increases for low-income families and tax cuts for high-wealth taxpayers.

Connecticut needs a balanced budget that builds opportunity over the long term, including both tax reforms that raise new revenue by fixing the state's outdated tax system and strategic spending in priority programs that will keep Connecticut an attractive place to find a job, start a business, and raise a family.