The newest budget negotiated between Democratic and Republican leaders in both the House and Senate has yet to be released, but based on the information we have received, this is a breakdown of the changes included in the new budget package.
A financial stress test of all fifty states by Moody’s Analytics showed that Connecticut is unprepared should the country experience another recession - even a moderate one. Connecticut was one of the bottom 15 states that were “substantially unprepared” for an economic downturn, which would lower tax revenue and increase state service needs to help those affected by a recession.
Gov. Dannel Malloy released his 4th budget proposal this year in an effort to reach a bipartisan consensus to pass a budget. Connecticut is well over 100 days into the new fiscal year, and is the last state in the nation without a budget. Touting it as a “bare bones” budget, Malloy eliminated many of the controversial proposals from both Republican and Democrat authored budget plans, but still shifts some of the state's burden onto municipalities.
While state employees were given a 4-year no layoff guarantee through the union concessions deal, municipalities will have few options but to layoff teachers, staff and municipal employees. Following the governor’s veto of the bipartisan budget passed in September, those layoffs are happening, pitting the interests of state teachers’ unions against those of the state employee unions
Carrying signs that read "Support UConn" and “Respect Collective Bargaining,” approximately 300 University of Connecticut staff and students rallied outside the Legislative Office Building to protest proposed cuts to the university included in the bipartisan budget passed by the legislature. Former UConn graduate employee union president, Todd Vachon led the crowd in chanting “tax the rich” and called for raising taxes on hedge funds and Connecticut’s top income earners.
According to the new budget proposal released today, state employee fringe benefit costs - including pensions and retiree health benefits - will grow by more than $222 million. Overall, the new general fund budget will grow $214 million and a number of agencies took multi-million dollar cuts to make up for the increase in fringe benefit costs, including a $14 million cut to the Office of Early Childhood’s Care 4 Kids program.