To offset new taxes that have rankled business groups, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed trimming up to 1.5 percent of discretionary spending in the new state budget. But the administration’s proposal shows the bulk of the cuts would likely fall on education, municipal aid, health care and social services. And a key legislator has warned that most of those areas could face even deeper cuts once the new fiscal year is underway.
Updated at 6:40 a.m.
The budget deal between legislative leaders and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration calls for millions of dollars in cuts to programs that serve seniors, poor families, and people with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. But compared to the deep reductions Malloy proposed in February, many of the cuts are relatively modest.
A vote on the tax deal struck over the weekend was delayed Monday as legislative leaders sought revisions demanded by rebellious members, some in response to an outcry by major corporations over a tripling of a computer-services levy and other business taxes.
Updated at 9:44 p.m.
While the tentative state budget deal technically dedicates $436 million in sales tax receipts over the next two years to stabilize transportation finances and back a major infrastructure overhaul, that same spending plan effectively diverts more than 85 percent of those funds for non-transportation programs.
The state budget deal headed for the legislature Monday would increase funding for both charter schools and neighborhood public schools — the result of a governor insistent on opening new charter schools and pushback from a group of Democratic legislators whose votes are needed to pass a state budget.
A last-minute component of the new two-year state budget deal includes a $100 million-per-year income tax hike on Connecticut’s middle class, according to budget documents released early Monday. The hit comes in the form of a reduced credit for local property tax payments.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s insistence on increasing funding for charter schools has more than a dozen Democratic legislators questioning whether they can support the next state budget if it means their neighborhood public schools are flat-funded or cut.
Mental health and substance abuse treatment providers say they’re planning to limit access to programs if a proposed $25.5 million cut to grant funding goes through. A recent analysis by the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says even with more insured clients, the providers will only be able to make up a fraction of the proposed grant cuts. But the governor’s budget director said funding those grants is “a luxury that we can’t afford right now.”
Critics say Malloy’s proposal to cut Medicaid is financially short-sighted and threatens to undermine recent progress in a program that has added thousands of new members as part of the federal health law, expanded the network of providers willing to treat them, and reduced its per-client costs.
The 2014 legislative session ended at midnight Wednesday. As usual, some folks came out happy. Others are already plotting their strategies for next year. Here’s a look at the groups that won and lost this session.
Many policies get created or changed through an end-of-session bill known as an implementer — a voluminous piece of legislation needed to enact the policy changes that go with the state budget. It also typically holds a wide range of other amendments added by the party in power. Here’s what’s in this year’s implementer.
Connecticut took a major step forward toward offering a state-administered retirement plan for private-sector workers, similar to the 401(k) plans offered by many businesses.
Facility fees charged to patients covered by the state employee and retiree health plan will get increased scrutiny under a proposal expected to pass the General Assembly.
This policy change would launch a two-year overhaul of Connecticut’s $16 billion-a-year tax system – a move some legislators have predicted could be the most dramatic overhaul of state finances since the income tax was enacted 23 years ago.
The quasi-public agency set up to promote the use of electronic medical records is being eliminated as part of budget implementation legislation that’s expected to pass the General Assembly.