Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-150) joined their colleagues in a bipartisan effort to fix the current fiscal year deficit of $220 million yesterday.
S.B. 474 – An Act Making Adjustments to the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2017 – passed with a vote of 127-16.
The plan, which will only cover the next three months of the the fiscal year, included several key republican proposals:
- Restored more than $31 million in state funding for hospitals. This helps the state leverage over $100 million total in hospital funding including federal dollars.
- Minimized the impact on social service programs. Services to developmentally disabled and mentally ill will continue to be provided with no interruptions.
- Restored millions in proposed cuts to municipal aid, which cities and towns can’t absorb this late in the fiscal year.
- Avoided depleting the Rainy Day Fund, which will be needed to offset much larger deficits in the coming years.
“There were many difficult decisions that needed to be made, but I believe this plan is a step in the right direction to get our state’s fiscal health back on the track to sustainability, in the near term,” said Rep. Floren.
“Structural policies still need to be made to solve future deficits. However, it was critical that we were able to conserve the Rainy Day Fund. Curtailing spending will be key to how we offset the deficits we are facing in the out year,” said Rep. Bocchino.
“We still face a massive deficit beginning July 1, but what’s important is that we were able to come together in a bipartisan way to solve our immediate deficit. While today’s vote gives me hope that we will be able to work together in a bi-partisan fashion going forward, we still should not kid ourselves that the massive deficits on the horizon will require dealing with the long term structural deficits, and not just by doing annual and bi-annual deficit mitigation bills.”,” said Rep. Camillo.
Next year’s deficit is projected to be greater than $900 million, ballooning to almost $4.5 billion in the next biennium, and even larger after 2020.
The 2016 legislative session will adjourn on Wednesday, May 4.