Here is just a portion of what our Greenwich Delegation has accomplished for the residents of Greenwich and the State of CT regarding the State Budget.
The revised state budget:
- contains No new tax increases.
- contains No tolls.
- contains no hikes to bus fares
- contains no hikes to train fares.
- Maintains new retiree tax breaks contained in last year’s bipartisan budget for pension & social security income.
- Rejects governor’s proposal to eliminate $200 property tax credit which supports elderly and working families.
- provides $16 million to the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund to provide a full statutory contribution of 33%.
- Restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program in full to all 169,450 seniors. Cost of $130 million.
- Restores funding for HUSKY A coverage for 13,000 low income working parents who otherwise would lose coverage beginning August 1.
- Provides a 1% private provider Cost of Living Adjustment to all non-profit providers effective July 1, 2018
- Restores funding for Elderly Nutrition Program and makes a separate line item to better protect this funding in the future.
- Preserves grants for substance abuse treatment and mental health care.
- Funds the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families with $5 million.
- Fully funds aid to disabled, adding in $1.4 million.
- Fully funds Old Age Assistance with an additional $1.8 million.
- Restores funding for the Hispanic Programs providing funding to nonprofits.
- Provides funding for Puerto Rico evacuees in housing and provides municipalities with a significant influx of evacuees with increased Education Cost Sharing Grants.
- Does not implement any cuts to Care 4 Kids.
- Funds the Honor Guard
- Restores $2 million to fully staff the state veterans hospital’s critical care unit.
- Restores full funding for Municipal Aid. $28.4 million more than appropriated in FY 2019 as originally enacted. $70.5 million more in municipal aid than FY 2018.
- Fully funds the FY 2019 enacted Education Cost Sharing grants.
- Fully funds Renters Rebate program, protecting 48,000 people.
- Fully funds the Special Transportation Fund resulting in surpluses in the fund in each of the next 5 years
- Fully funds rail and bus operations.
AND DON’T FORGET LAST YEAR…..
Because Republicans were so close in the House and Senate, structural reforms were made to government last year that have eluded lawmakers — and even Republican governors — for decades.
We now have a defined state constitutional spending cap, which was approved by voters over 25 years ago. That means the promises made to voters in 1992 will finally be enforceable. This is a strong constitutional cap. This is something not even Republican governors could achieve.
The budget also includes a bonding cap of $1.9 billion and significant municipal mandate relief.
We all believe that legislators have a fiscal responsibility to their constituents to vote on union contracts. Therefore, we now require a vote on state employee contracts so that lawmakers have a voice when it comes to one of the biggest parts of the state budget.
We established tools in the budget that will give future governors and legislatures the ability to review labor contracts The budget also recognizes that we cannot build our budgets on spikes in revenue, and therefore implements a volatility cap.
Many retirees will see their pension income tax and Social Security income tax disappear. Seniors will have a reason to stay in Connecticut and not flee to other states.
Property taxes will be held down because this budget refuses to shift a devastating new burden onto towns and cities.
A fair education funding formula will be implemented.
Our state & transportation funding will be bolstered and stabilized without the need for tolls.
What this budget does is establish principles that will ensure the mistakes of the past cannot be repeated. These are polices that will bear fruit long after current leaders leave the Capitol. They will keep government in check for the long term.
Whats important is that we have started not only a foundation for change, but also a bipartisan conversation among all leaders who wholeheartedly recognize that change is needed and that we are the legislature that can do it.
We have to chart a course to reduce taxes and bring businesses back. It’s mostly about sending a message. A message of where we’re going take this state. We recognize the problem and we are starting to treat it.
We’ve balanced the budget this year without a tax increase and without cutting vital programs, but we will soon face huge budget deficits. Our focus is on eliminating wasteful state government spending and making long-term structural budgetary changes, which reduce the size and scope of state government.
Please keep an eye out for more important ICYMI information from your Greenwich Delegation!
State Senator Scott Frantz, 36 th District
State Representative Livvy Floren, 149 th District
State Representative Mike Bocchino, 150 th District
State Representative Fred Camillo, 151 st District