Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



April 30, 2019

Senator Osten Statement Re: Appropriations Committee Proposed FY20-21 State Budget

HARTFORD – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) issued the following statement this morning regarding the Appropriations Committee proposed state budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.

“We started this budget-making process back in February with public hearings, then went to bipartisan subcommittee meetings, and then to bipartisan subcommittee report-outs. We have hundreds of hours of public and legislative input in this budget.

“This is an honest line-by-line budget that increases local education funding, increases our investments in job training, and continues the promises we made the last two years in our bipartisan budget.

“We provide funding for the start-up of a higher minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, a public health care option for families and small businesses, a jobs funnel, juvenile justice initiatives, a new state trooper class, and re-opening our highway rest stops and welcome centers.

“All in all this Appropriations Committee budget is about a quarter-percent higher than Governor Lamont’s FY 20 General Fund proposal, and about four-tenths of a percent higher than his FY 21 General Fund proposal, and most of that is due to reversing the governor’s proposed ECS cuts to cities and towns, which I think is something that teachers, students, and local property tax payers will appreciate. I think this Appropriations Committee budget is fair and honest.”

Highlights of the Appropriations Committee proposed FY 20-21 biennial state budget:

Investing in Workforce Development

  • Provides greater funding than the governor proposed for several workforce development programs including:
    • Jobs Funnel Programs ($632K each year)
    • Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative ($1.1 M each year)
    • Healthcare Apprenticeship Initiative ($500K each year)
    • Connecticut’s Youth Employment Program ($1 M each year)
    • Cradle to Career ($100K each year)
    • Pilot Re-Entry Program ($800K each year)
    • Veteran Machinists Training ($250K each year)

Advancing Education

  • Increases funding for K-12 education by tens of millions of dollars from FY 19 ($42 million in FY 20 & $80 million in FY 21)
  • Fully funds the ECS formula as required under the ten year phase-in adopted by the bipartisan budget in 2017.
  • Increases funding for community colleges from FY 19 ($8 million in FY 20 & $10 million in FY 21)

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
  • Funds a public health care insurance option for families and small businesses

Safeguarding Seniors

  • Provides funding for the Center for Medicare Advocacy ($300K in each year)
  • Increases funding for Meals on Wheels ($475K in each year)

Other Investments

  • Includes funding for Juvenile Justice Outreach ($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