Rep. O’Neill Votes Yes On Compromise Budget Plan

Posted on May 10, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) last night voted yes on a compromise budget agreement that protects seniors and education funding, and adds money for teachers’ healthcare and state transportation projects without increasing taxes.

The agreement, reached after long and delicate negotiations, fully restores the important Medicare Savings Plan to help seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums, provides $16 million in additional funding for retired teachers’ healthcare costs, protects Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding statewide, including for the towns of Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury and Washington, and provides $29 million for the Special Transportation Fund (STF) in FY2019, among others.

“This agreement is a true compromise and upholds my commitments to fiscal restraint and our senior population by fully restoring the important Medicare Savings Plan without raising taxes,” Rep. O’Neill said. “While not perfect, this plan achieves many of my priorities, including reducing cuts or restoring funding to programs like the teachers’ retirement system and by providing substantial and badly-needed money for the Special Transportation Fund.”

Under the agreement, sales tax revenue from the sale of new vehicles will be transferred from the General Fund to the Special Transportation Fund to be used toward repairing our crumbling roads and bridges. The plan continues to invest substantially in the STF until it is fully funded beginning in FY2023.

The compromise also protects Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding for the district and prevents Governor Malloy from slashing education aid for towns and cities. In fact, Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury and Washington will all receive more education aid than they did in 2018. Bridgewater is set to receive an additional $3,277, Roxbury $7,310, Southbury $511,344 and Washington will receive $8,713.

“By shoring up and adding money to important, underfunded programs, providing additional funding for education and protecting municipalities from Governor Malloy’s rescissions, Connecticut can begin to move forward toward a stronger fiscal footing,” Rep. O’Neill said.

Highlights of the compromise budget include:

  • Full funding of Special Transportation Fund eliminating the need for rail and bus fare increases and service cuts
  • Restoration of full funding for Municipal Aid
  • Full funding of the FY 2019 enacted Education Cost Sharing grants that will provide Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury and Washington more than they received under the FY18 budget
  • Maintaining new retiree tax breaks for pension & social security income
  • Restoration of full funding for the Medicare Savings Plan that seniors and the disabled across our state depend on to help offset the high costs of Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums
  • Providing $5 million for Emergency Placements for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Maintaining $7 million savings target for a hard hiring freeze
  • Providing $16 million to the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund to achieve a full statutory contribution of 33%
  • Rejection of Governor Malloy’s proposal to eliminate the $200 property tax credit which supports elderly and working families