Malloy budget: Winners & Losers

Winners

Housing: The budget would fund 100 new units of supportive housing in 2015, provide money for "rapid re-housing" to help homeless families move into permanent, stable housing and add capital funds for affordable housing. There's also a new department of housing to coordinate it all.

Insurance companies: If Malloy's proposal to end Medicaid coverage for some poor parents goes through, insurance companies will get thousands of new customers, who will be buying their health plans with federal funding.

Investors: Those interested in buying state of Connecticut bonds will find plenty more on the market. The administration wants to issue $750 million in new bonds, with a projected interest cost of $186 million, to increase the state's reserves and accelerate the conversion to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Motor Vehicle Owners: The governor's plan would exempt the first $20,000 in assessed value of a motor vehicle from municipal property taxes.

Young adults with mental illness, developmental disabilities or addictions: The Department of Developmental Services budget calls for nearly $60 million to fund day programs for 744 people who have or will be graduating from high school or are aging out of services provided by the Department of Children and Families or educational services; another 345 people will receive services in the 2015 fiscal year. It will also fund 230 residential placements in 2014 and another 138 in 2015. Similarly, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ budget would get a $50 million boost to handle caseload growth for young adult services, as well as services for people with brain injuries who are leaving Connecticut Valley Hospital, home and community-based services for people with mental illnesses leaving nursing homes and services for people ready to leave CVH.

 

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Losers

Cities and Towns: The administration didn't release an estimate of how much the proposed property tax exemption for motor vehicles would cost local governments in terms of lost revenue, but the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities estimates communities would lose the vast majority of the $560 million they raise annually from this levy.

Connecticut Commission on Aging: Malloy's proposal would eliminate it because the state is creating a Department of Aging.

School-based health centers: This year's budget provided funds for 22 new or expanded school-based health centers, but Malloy's proposal would eliminate those funds going forward -- a cut of $2.7 million per year. The school-based health centers, as well as community centers, would also see reduced state subsidies because there are projected to be fewer people without health insurance in the state.

Nursing homes: The budget counts on more than $134 million in savings over two years from removing rate increases nursing homes had been slated to receive. The nursing homes would also see a reduction in funds they receive as part of a user fee, which the state charges to nursing homes then redistributes to them along with federal reimbursement generated by the fee.

Hospitals: Payments to hospitals for treating uninsured and underinsured patients would be cut in half in the first year of the budget and eliminated entirely in the second year. The hospitals would also no longer receive any additional money from the user fee. The changes are projected to save the state $207 million in the coming fiscal year and $341 million the next. The biggest loser is Yale-New Haven Hospital, the state's largest hospital, which would lose $102.3 million over two years. UConn's John Dempsey Hospital would lose the least -- $973,816 over two years.

Office of the Healthcare Advocate: Malloy’s proposal would eliminate a unit in the office that works to recover money paid by Medicaid for services that could have been covered by private insurance. Budget director Benjamin Barnes said the cut, projected to save just over $1 million over two years, was made because the unit has not been effective. State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri said the unit has started to recover money after facing delays because of the poor quality of the data it received. Her office raised concerns about the existing process for recovering funds the state should not have had to pay, but Veltri said they have not been answered. She said the cut to the unit suggests that the administration might not be considering "the serious and systemic problems" with the data generated by a Department of Social Services vendor. “It seems a little shortsighted,” Veltri said. “Especially in a very tight budget, you want to get every dollar you can back, and we are discovering what I think are some very serious [problems] with the current process to recover those dollars.” Because Veltri’s office is funded by an assessment on the insurance industry, not taxpayer dollars, cuts to it don’t help trim the deficit.

Other Watchdog Agencies: The governor's plan to consolidate certain functions of the Freedom of Information Commission, the Ethics Commission, Elections Enforcement and six other watchdog groups would merge their legal staffs and place them under executive branch supervision.

Power Plants and Other Businesses: Temporary taxes on electricity generation and on corporations that were set to expire next fiscal year would be continued in the new budget.

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