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Trumbull State Officials, House Republicans Offer Plan to Balance State Budget

Posted on April 25, 2024


Trumbull State Officials, House Republicans Offer Plan to Balance State Budget
Contains structural spending reforms, invests in local education, under the spending cap

HARTFORD—Today at the State Capitol, State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Ben McGorty (R-122), Tony Scott (R-112) and their House Republican colleagues released a plan to balance the second year of the state budget, keeping a promise to Connecticut residents by honoring the fiscal guardrails, focusing on affordability, pursuing structural spending reforms, and supplying funding in critical areas such as local education to help prevent more pressure on local property taxpayers.

House Republicans, led by State Rep. Vincent Candelora began developing their plan to balance the budget after the Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee decided against adjusting the $25.9 billion budget for FY25, which becomes effective July 1. Inaction would leave the budget out of balance and vulnerable to discretionary decisions from the Governor, who would have authority to make changes outside of the legislative session.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rutigliano was disappointed the committee abdicated it responsibility to present a state budget adjustment.

“Many school districts, including Trumbull are struggling with the skyrocketing costs of special education, this Republican budget looks to keep the promise and fully fund special education in Connecticut,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “This influx of state funding will help ease the need to increase local property taxes.”

Rep. Scott, ranking member of the Housing Committee, was pleased with additional funding earmarked for homelessness services.

“In a year where bills or programs that have a budgetary impact are getting cut at the committee level and not even making to the House or Senate for debate, the House Republicans still find funding for homeless shelter needs to be a priority,” said Rep. Scott. “I’m glad our plan would provide additional dollars, beyond those included in the two-year budget passed last year, to help these providers get through the coming winter season.”

Keeping the promise to Connecticut families, the House Republican plan directs their focus toward supporting children at the beginning of their educational journey. Republicans propose $236 million more for local education funding, and fully funds Trumbull’s education reimbursement, including an additional $79 million more for surging special education costs. By providing an additional $12 million to increase reimbursement rates ($120 per hour to $167) to Birth to Three child services providers, Republicans will unlock more federal funding to help with staffing shortages. Responding to the state’s childcare crunch, Republicans matched the $12 million increase proposed by Gov. Lamont for the Care4Kids program.

The House Republican plan doesn’t tap remaining federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, leaving at least $200 million available for acute needs such as funding for nonprofit service social providers, shoring up the state’s unemployment compensation fund, additional childcare investments, or higher education. The House Republican budget adjustments have been vetted by the state’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

In their plan to shift budget priorities toward core commitments to residents, House Republicans also propose to:

  • Keep a scheduled $42m deposit to the Teachers’ Retirement Fund that Democrats would forgo
  • Allocate increase to Medicaid rates to behavioral health providers, mental health services for kids ($7m)
  • Address surging price of goods, groceries, and services by eliminating Democrats’ truck tax
  • Increases funding to municipalities to implement early voting ($3.6m)
  • Deliver improved ambulance provider Medicaid rates Governor proposed to cut ($5m)
  • Reinstates a portion of PILOT funding for municipalities ($16.3m)
  • Provide CT Foodshare allocation (H.B. 5011) ($2m)
  • Supply $1 million allocation for homeless shelter needs

House Republicans fund priority initiatives by continuing their push for structural changes in the budget, including:

  • Maintaining, rather than increasing, Husky C healthcare eligibility requirements ($8.5m savings)
  • Budget for state employee vacancies according to current hiring patterns (an additional $26m savings)
  • Eliminating “free” healthcare for undocumented immigrants ($45m savings)
  • Changes policy on enhanced inmate communications; require them to pay portion of cost of calls ($10m savings)