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Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

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Connecticut Senate Democrats Announce Balanced State Budget

Budget Includes Millions More in Job Training and Education Funding While Holding the Line on Taxes, Putting More in the Rainy Day Fund, and Increasing Spending by 0.3%

HARTFORD, CT (June 2, 2019) – Today, Senate Democrats announced the details of the state budget for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years which maintains the promises and progress of last year’s bipartisan budget. The balanced budget dedicates millions in new job training initiatives, increases funding for local education, and creates a new universal debt-free community college plan. In addition, the budget is fiscally responsible by holding the line on income and sales taxes, keeping non-fixed state spending increases to a minuscule 0.3%, and growing the Rainy Day fund to $2.6 billion dollars.

“At every step of the process General Assembly Democrats promised a balanced budget that would pay down the debt of the past and increase funding for job training and education. Today, we deliver on that promise,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “Connecticut will dedicate millions in funding for job training programs in critical sectors of the economy like manufacturing and health care. In addition, this budget establishes debt-free community college which will create a ladder of opportunity for hard-working families to gain the skills required of a 21st century workforce. Thanks to the Democratic leadership in the House and Governor Lamont for working with the Senate to get this balanced budget done on time. A special thank you to Senator Osten and Senator Fonfara for the long hours they put in on behalf of the Senate Democratic caucus on this budget and finance package.”

“I am pleased to announce the state will have an on-time, balanced, and fiscally responsible budget that continues the progress of the bipartisan budget,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “Cities and towns will see increased education funding that adheres to the long-term bipartisan education funding formula which will benefit our students and keeps our promises to our towns. At the same time, the budget keeps income and sales tax rates at the same level and holds non-fixed state spending increases to a rounding error of only 0.3%. I want to thank my colleagues in the House, Governor Lamont, Senator Osten, and Senator Fonfara for all the hard work over the last few months in order for us to deliver on our promises to the residents of Connecticut.”

The full balanced budget can be accessed through the General Assembly website here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2019&bill_num=7424

Maintaining the Promises and Progress of the Bipartisan Budget

  • Maintains the same sales tax rate, income tax rates, and capital gains tax rate as the bipartisan budget
  • Continues cuts to income taxes for seniors on social security and pensions as promised in the bipartisan budget
  • Increases education funding as promised in the bipartisan education funding formula
  • Adheres to the spending cap, expenditure cap, bonding cap, and volatility cap from the bipartisan budget
  • Budget is UNDER the constitutional spending cap
  • Budget is UNDER the bonding cap
  • Budget is UNDER the expenditure cap
  • Budget is UNDER the volatility cap
  • Continues our commitment to fund support for the developmentally disabled, including emergency placements and employment and day services
  • Continues to bolster the Rainy Day fund which will now have over $2.6 billion as promised in the bipartisan budget

Investing in Job Creation and Workforce Development

  • Funds several job creation and workforce development programs, including:
  • Jobs Funnel Programs (Over $1 million each year)
  • Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative ($2 million each year)
  • Healthcare Apprenticeship Initiative ($500,000 each year)
  • Connecticut’s Youth Employment Program ($5 million each year)
  • Cradle to Career ($100,000 each year)
  • Pilot Re-Entry Program ($800,000 each year)
  • Veteran Machinists Training ($250,000 each year)

Holding the Line on Taxes

  • No increase in the sales tax rate
  • Sales tax modernized to cover digital downloads, dry-cleaning, parking, and interior design
  • No increase in the income tax rate
  • No increase in the capital gains tax rate
  • Cuts income taxes for seniors on social security and pensions
  • Eliminates the business entity tax to help new companies start-up and remove a nuisance tax on all businesses

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Over $2.6 billion in the “Rainy Day” fund
  • Only 1.7% growth in state spending in 2020 and 3.4% in 2021
  • Only 0.3% growth in non-fixed cost state spending in 2020 and 2.1% in 2021
  • Agreement with Connecticut’s hospitals to avoid a potential $4 billion liability to the state
  • 1,000 fewer Connecticut state employee positions
  • Budget is UNDER the constitutional spending cap
  • Budget is UNDER the bonding cap
  • Budget is UNDER the expenditure cap
  • Budget is UNDER the volatility cap

Funding Our Pensions and Paying Down Our Debt

  • Over $1.7 billion toward the state’s pension costs
  • Over $1.5 billion goes toward paying down last generation’s unfunded pensions
  • Only $229 million or 13% is for current employees in 2020 and $220 million in 2021
  • Funds 100% of pensions and benefits for current state employees and teachers

Advancing Connecticut’s Top Tier K-12 Education

Increases funding for K-12 education by tens of millions of dollars over 2019 levels

  • $42 million education funding increase in 2020
  • $80 million education funding increase in 2021
  • Fully funds the state education formula as required under the ten year phase-in adopted by the bipartisan budget in 2017

Monumental Positive Changes for Higher Education

  • Establishes debt-free community college for all Connecticut residents
  • Increases funding for UConn by $9.7 million in 2020 and $20.6 million in 2021
  • Supporting Connecticut Families
  • Includes funding to support the implementation of an increase in the minimum wage
  • Funds the creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave program

Safeguarding Seniors

  • Increases funding for nursing home workers that care for our seniors and avoids a potentially dangerous statewide strike of workers ($11 million more in 2020 and $18.5 million more in 2021)
  • Provides funding for the Center for Medicare Advocacy ($300K in each year)
  • Increases funding for Meals on Wheels ($475K in each year)
  • Other Investments

Fully funds Passport to the Parks program

  • Includes funding for Juvenile Justice ($11.7 M in FY 20 and $10.2 M in FY 21)
  • Funds services for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities including employment and day services for new high school graduates ($6.3 M in FY 20 and $14.6 M in FY 21) as well as individuals aging out of the Department of Children and Families and residential schools ($3 M in FY 20 and $5.7 M in FY 21)
  • Preserves funding for mental health and substance abuse grants ($1.6 M in each year)
  • Provides funding for caseload growth in the Birth to Three program ($1.4 M in FY 20 and $2 M in FY 21)
  • Includes funding for a new State Trooper Class in FY 20
  • Provides funding to staff Welcome Centers and restore the hours of operation at the Rest Areas on our highways
  • Provides $500,000 each year in new funding for the Connecticut Diaper Bank
  • Funds the Foreclosure Mediation Program $1.8 M in FY 20 and $2 M in FY 21.

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