Impact of the Final FY 2016 Budget on Children and Families

Back • Publication Date: August 7th, 2015

Authors: Nicholas Defiesta, Sarah Iverson, Cyd Oppenheimer J.D., Sharon Langer M.Ed., J.D., Rachel Leventhal-Weiner Ph.D., and Ellen Shemitz, J.D.

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The State of Connecticut’s final FY 16 budget, improved from earlier proposals, still balances on children and families’ finite resources, this analysis finds. 

While funding the “Children’s Budget” – state spending on children and family services – requires only a third of overall state funding, children’s program funding reductions account for nearly ninety percent of state budget cuts.

Under the State of Connecticut’s final FY 16 budget, state spending on children and family services decreases by $201.7 million, or 3.3%. Budget cuts that harm Connecticut youth and families include:

  • A $133 million cut to K-12 education spending (4.1% of total education spending), mostly achieved through shrinking reimbursements to cities and towns for special education, transportation, and other direct services.
  • HUSKY health insurance coverage elimination for roughly 20,000 low-income parents, a measure shown in other states to hurt children's health.
  • A $20.7 million higher education funding reduction from the Board of Regents, the University of Connecticut, and the Office of Higher Education.

Connecticut voters now adapt to a more regressive tax system, as elected officials adopt new revenue measures that increase the effective tax burden on our lowest-income citizens and their families from 10.5% to 11%.