May 3, 2014




Budget is Balanced, Under the Spending Cap and Contains No New Taxes


(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, and Democratic leaders of the General Assembly today announced a budget agreement that continues to fund top priorities such as universal access to pre-kindergarten, making college more affordable, continuing to make year over year increases in local public education funding, and the Earned Income Tax Credit.


It does all of this with no new taxes, and in fact provides modest tax relief for working families.


The budget, which takes effect on July 1, is under the spending cap, and deposits the entire FY14 surplus into the state’s rainy day fund, which will grow to an estimated $314 million.  The revised General Fund budget comes in $40 million dollars below the budget that was adopted last year and holds growth to 1.6%.


It also eliminates keno as a source of revenue.


“Like any legislative session, this one wasn’t without its surprises and challenges. But the bottom line is that this budget is balanced, puts the surplus into the rainy day fund and makes real, necessary investments in the future of Connecticut families,” said Governor Malloy.  “Whether it’s moving to universal access to pre-K or providing tax relief for working families, we are taking a balanced approach that moves our state forward and leaves no one behind.”


“Furthering Connecticut’s priorities—education, job growth, and protecting our most vulnerable citizens is paramount,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “I applaud Governor Malloy and legislative leaders for crafting a budget that ensures we leave a stronger, better Connecticut to our children and grandchildren.”


“This budget is fair, balanced and promotes economic growth,” said Senator Williams. “Putting additional resources in public schools to reach children that not currently enrolled in pre-k ensures that all of Connecticut’s children have access to a high-quality early education experience.”


“We have worked with the governor since February to create a responsible budget that protects working families, increases aid to our cities and towns, and does not raise taxes. I am proud to stand with Governor Malloy today to announce that we have done just that,” said Speaker Sharkey.


“Without raising taxes we are investing in our towns by increasing funds for municipalities and strengthening our universities and community colleges while making them more affordable for students,” said Representative Aresimowicz.  “We’ve created a budget that fully represents our priorities as a state and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished working in conjunction with the Governor’s office.”


“We had a big change in our expectations at the last minute, and we did what we had to do, which is come out with a balanced budget that meets the needs of Connecticut’s families,” said state Senator Beth Bye, who is Senate Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.


Specifically, this budget:


  • Commits to statewide access for universal pre-K by funding an additional 1,020 pre-k slots in the state’s neediest districts this year.  This proposal also lays the groundwork to serve 4,000 more children by 2018, a 40 percent increase of children served, and provides funding to help towns and providers prepare for full statewide access. Additionally, the budget invests in childcare providers with additional funding for professional development. The budget also includes funding to help create additional pre-k capacity in public school in order to address unmet need.


  • Makes college more affordable by funding programs that invest in Connecticut residents.


The Go Back to Get Ahead program will allow any Connecticut resident who began their degree but has been out of the classroom for at least 18 months to take one free course for each course they take, up to three free courses in total in pursuit of a college degree.


‘Transform CSCU 2020’ provides Connecticut’s state community colleges and four state universities with $125.5 million to bring all 17 campuses into a single, student-centered, technology-enriched system while improving the student experience and degree completion.


The CHET Baby Scholars program makes it a little easier to save for college. The program will offer new parents up to a $250 investment in a tax-free college savings account for their child.


  • Increases funding for Connecticut’s municipalities with an additional $80 million in education, PILOT and other funding.


  • Increases the pace of transportation infrastructure investment through hiring an additional 35 engineers, so that the state can continue to fund projects like the expansion of I-84 in Waterbury, CT Fastrak and the New Haven Hartford Springfield rail line.  The current 5 year capital plan calls for a 165% increase in infrastructure spending to improve the state roads, rail and bridges.


  • Allocates funding to keep elderly residents in their homes with $6.5 million to re-open the Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled Renters program.  The additional money will allow an additional 12,700 citizens to receive a renter’s rebate.


  •  Invests in mental health services by raising rates and increasing funding for uncompensated care, underserved populations and other services by more than $23 million.   The budget also creates an anti-stigma campaign and provides training for all police officers to reduce escalation of incidents involving individuals with mental illness.


  • Moves toward long term tax relief by beginning the implementation of an income tax exemption of teachers’ pensions, extending the tax credit for angel investors and reinstating the sales tax exemption of non-prescription drugs.


  • Invests in school security with the hiring of the staff necessary to implement the recommendations of the School Safety Infrastructure Council.


  • Allows for the historic agreement to keep Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and other United Technologies Companies to remain in the state for nearly 20 years and invest $4.5 billion dollars into Connecticut’s economy.  The agreement will impact roughly 75,000 jobs in the state.


  •  Assists the state’s long-term unemployed by creating a five-week intensive job readiness program that includes behavioral health services, financial coaching, and an eight-week subsidized work experience.  Programs like this have a placement rate of over 80%.  The budget will also create the Veteran’s Opportunity Fund, a $600,000 pilot program that will allow the Department of Labor to issue grants to homeless/housing providers to hire employment specialists and job developers who will actively seek opportunities for veterans to re-enter the workforce.


By Alex

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