In his first budget forecast of the new fiscal year, Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo warned Tuesday that the $126 million projected budget surplus isn’t all good news.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s new budget would cancel a planned tax reduction for Connecticut’s hospitals two years from now to help reduce big deficits down the road. The governor’s proposal falso would leave in place new eligibility restrictions lawmakers ordered last fall for the popular Medicare Savings Plan.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly gave final approval Wednesday to a measure fixing technical flaws with the hospital tax, a renters’ rebate program and other aspects of the new state budget.
The administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy warned legislators Wednesday of a flaw in the bipartisan budget’s hospital tax provision that could open a $1 billion gap in the two-year spending plan, a message coolly received by lawmakers in a mood to celebrate an end to the state’s long budget impasse.
The governor’s plan would also cut an $11.8 million fund that has provided money to small, independent hospitals. And it would restore the administration’s ability to unilaterally cut funding to hospitals through a technical budgeting change.
Citing a host of job and program cuts and funding levels that threaten hospital viability and patients’ access to care, Connecticut hospitals have asked the federal government to declare that the state is violating federal law by paying inadequate rates for treating Medicaid patients and imposing a $556 million tax on the industry.
Two state agency heads have ruled against Connecticut hospitals’ claims that the state tax on hospitals is illegal, clearing the way for the industry to take the state to court.
House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, and the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy engaged in an extraordinary exchange of criticism Friday over two fiscal controversies, ratcheting up intra-party tensions over how to resolve a worsening budget shortfall.
A public hearing on how to reform Connecticut’s tax system evolved Wednesday — at least in part — into a critique of the $1.3 billion tax hike built into the two-year state budget legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy approved earlier this summer.
The new state budget is not finalized, yet the effect of taxing and underfunding hospitals is already being felt in the starkest terms: people are losing access to care, services, and jobs. This past week alone saw the announcements of clinic closings and hundreds of layoffs. If legislators do not restore much-needed funding to hospitals in the special session during the last week of June, hospitals will have to make additional painful choices. We can’t let this happen.
A key legislative panel broke Wednesday with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy by recommending a plan that bolsters state tax and fee receipts by more than $1.8 billion over the next two fiscal years, including more than $540 million in new income taxes on the wealthy and an overhaul of the sales tax.
Members of a key legislative panel will be asked Wednesday to approve a plan that bolsters tax receipts by almost $1.8 billion in the next two year budget, including $540 million in new income taxes on the wealthy and an overhaul of the sales tax.