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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

New Connecticut Budget Agreement

Bipartisan compromise reflects a collective consensus that Democrats and Republicans can work together as a team for the greater good of Connecticut.

I am pleased to report that, after months of negotiations, Democrats and Republicans united together in a show of unity, cooperation and compromise to produce an historic, bipartisan budget agreement, voting 33-3 in the state Senate and 126-23 in the state House.

Over the summer, I spoke with hundreds of constituents, local government officials, and small businesses owners. They expressed to me their strong desire that members of the General Assembly should strive to resolve our differences through bipartisan compromise, while taking the best ideas and suggestions for both parties, protecting vital services from those in need, laying a strong foundation for our economic future, and avoiding cost shifts onto local property taxpayers. The budget that we passed delivers in all of these areas.

bipartisan

Protects Taxpayers and Businesses

  • Does NOT raise the income tax
  • Does NOT raise sales tax rates
  • Does NOT raise business or corporate tax rates

Controls Future State Spending

  • Enacts a state spending and bonding cap
  • Limits how much the state can borrow on an annual basis
  • Promotes regionalism to find government efficiencies
  • Deposits more money into the state's "Rainy Day Fund"

Funds Proven Job Creation Strategies

  • Maintains CT's investments in highly successful job-training and job-creation programs

Protects our Hospitals

  • Recognizes that hospitals are some of the leading drivers of job growth and future economic activity
  • Provides hospitals with a sustainable funding stream

Prevents Cost Shifts to Our Towns

  • Averts proposed monumental cuts to municipal aid for all towns in the 12th District and largely maintains Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants
  • Protects local town budgets from teacher retirement costs

Maintains Vital Services for Seniors and People with Disabilities

  • Protects funding for job training and day services for people with disabilities
  • Increases funding to Centers for Independent Living
  • Does not cut reimbursement to residential care homes, community living arrangements, and community companion homes
  • Increases funding for ADA Dial-A-Ride

Creates Sustainable Funding Stream for State Parks

  • Adopts a $10 vehicle registration fee, good for 2 years of unlimited access to all state parks, under a new “Passport to the Parks” initiative
  • Prevents state parks from massive cuts and layoffs
  • Maintains funding for the Council of Environmental Quality, the state's chief watchdog of environmental health and safety

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me. I hope you can understand that there were many budget items that I fought for that I did not achieve. However, I was successful in my fight against attempts to balance the state budget on the backs of children and seniors through massive cuts to education funding, senior programs and healthcare. That is the sign of compromise.

Serving the needs of my constituents is my number one priority. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me at 860-240-0455. I will continue to keep an open door as we work together to make Connecticut an even better place to live and work.