Posted on May 15, 2018 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – State Representative Christie Carpino (R-Cromwell) voted in favor of a bipartisan state budget that maintains funding to the state’s most vulnerable populations without relying on additional revenue from new taxes or tolls. In the waning hours of the 2018 session, a vote was taken, first in the Senate and later in the House, on the budget after successful negotiations came to fruition.
“While this is in no way a perfect budget, it does represent a quality compromise between both sides of the aisle. We all worked hard to maintain funding to seniors, school children, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities without placing additional financial burdens on any of our residents,” explained Carpino.
According to Carpino, the following positive policy points are within the budget:
- Stabilizes education funding for both Cromwell and Portland students
- Protects seniors by fully funding the Medicare Savings Program
- Funds the Honor Guard for veteran funerals
- Provides a $2 million allocation to the Department of Veterans Affairs for hospital licensures
- Additional allocation to the Retired Teachers Fund
- A $9.5 million allocation will go toward emergency placements for those needing services through the Department of Developmental Services
- Provides an increase to non-profit providers that deliver essential services to vulnerable populations
“The impact of the state budget on municipalities was an important consideration in crafting the budget. My proposal to allow municipalities to utilize volunteers for the delivery of town services was included. This provision creates greater flexibility to local budgets providing local autonomy at a time when the state’s financial situation remains volatile. There are, however, additional policy points that were not adopted in this year’s budget that will be necessary to bring the state to a point of fiscal stability,” stated Carpino.
A major provision not included in the budget compromise is a mechanism to start paying off the state’s long-term pension debt liabilities. A proposal supported by Carpino would have transferred monies from the Rainy Day Fund and pay approximately $300 million to two unfunded pension liabilities. This concept is likely to be revisited next year.
The budget passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk for action.