HARTFORD – State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) along with their House and Senate Republicans released their second complete balanced budget in a week.
The Trumbull legislators said the Republican budget proposal restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), fully funds the Teacher Pension account and pays more into the state employee retirement fund, funds the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund, and fully funds the FY 2019 enacted Education Cost Sharing grants and protects funding for our state fire training schools.
“This budget plan begins the process of rebuilding Connecticut’s economy without the need for tolls or new taxes. It’s time to restore fiscal sanity to the State Capitol,” Rep. Rutigliano said. Governor Malloy and the majority party have continually threatened Trumbull with massive cuts to education and town road aid. This budget protects Trumbull taxpayers. Inaction is unacceptable.”
This revised plan fully balances next year’s budget, reduces future deficits, restores funding for the core functions of government while increasing funding for Trumbull as compared to the governor’s proposal, and it does not include any new tax increases. It also implements policies to achieve long-term savings to create stability and predictability in future years.
This Republican budget makes the following changes to the enacted fiscal year 2019:
- Restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program in full, allowing all 169,450 seniors to maintain current coverage. Cost of $130 million.
- Increases Vocational Agriculture per pupil grants by $1,000 per slot.
- Contains two recommendations to reduce unfunded liabilities and achieve long term savings
- Dedicates more funding to the state’s unfunded liabilities including state employee retirement funds
- Makes two changes to state employee benefits beginning after 2027 by eliminating COLAs unless legislatively directed and eliminating overtime from calculation of final average salary. However, does not assume any immediate savings from these changes.
- Provides $16 million to the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund to provide a full statutory contribution of 33%.
- Allows car tax cap grant to be maintained at 39 mills and fully funds towns and cities.
- 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 $28.4 million more than appropriated in FY 2019 as originally enacted.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.
- Provides $5 million for Emergency Placements for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
- Fully funds rail and bus operations. Provides protection to funding for transit districts.
- Contains no new tax increases.
- Results in a surplus of $17 million in FY 2019.
- Contains policy recommendations that reduce the fiscal year 2020 deficit by $800 million.
- Provides a 1% private provider COLA to all non-profit providers effective July 1, 2018.
- Restores $18.5 million to magnet schools.
In addition, the plan:
- Fully funds the Special Transportation Fund resulting in surpluses in the fund in each of the next 5 years (accelerates the diversion of sales tax from sale of automobiles at car dealerships into FY 2019 at 2.5%). This allows us to fully fund transportation infrastructure projects. This budget also enacts Prioritize Progress, a long-term transportation funding plan that would result in over $63 billion in transportation funding over the next 30 years without new taxes or tolls.
- Maintains retiree tax breaks contained in bipartisan budget for pension & social security income.
- Rejects governor’s proposal to eliminate $200 property tax credit which supports elderly and working families.
- Fully funds the FY 2019 enacted Education Cost Sharing grants.
- Fully funds Renters Rebate program, protecting 48,000 people. No longer shifts the expense onto municipalities.
- Restores funding for Elderly Nutrition Program, providing $2 million and rejecting the governor’s proposed cut to this vital service. Also makes this a separate line item to better protect this funding in the future.
- Preserves grants for substance abuse treatment and mental health care.
- Protects funding for fire training schools and eliminates governor’s cut.
- Restores funding for School Based Health Clinics.
- Provides funding for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit, responsible for approving school security plans.
- Restores $2 million to fully staff the Connecticut state veterans hospital’s critical care unit.
- Does not implement any cuts to Care 4 Kids.
- Continues enhanced reimbursement rate for primary care providers.
- Maintains $7 million savings target for a hard hiring freeze
- Selective reduction to the size of government with policies such as limiting deputy secretaries, executive secretaries, eliminating executive assistants, and consolidating legislative and communication functions under the governor.
- Selective privatization options such as DMHAS option to outsource geriatric and detox beds statewide.
- Reduces grants totaling $8.6 million to the City of Hartford so that actual aid provided to Hartford is kept at the $40 million agreed to in the bipartisan budget.