State Reps. Charles Ferraro (R-117) and Pam Staneski (R-119) said they strongly opposed the majority party’s state budget proposal during the Friday the 13th legislative special session. In a press release, they called the plan a “fake” budget.
“This budget reflects the wrong-headed priorities of the majority party,” Ferraro said. “They decide to go after the most vulnerable in our state by eviscerating our state hospitals with a $130 million cut. They also slash state mental health and addiction services – while the state is in the midst of an ongoing opioid addiction crisis in our state.”
Rep. Staneski said, “This budget is a band-aid on a heart attack. Our state budget system is broken. I am disappointed that each of our Republican amendments to restore critical funding to programs were defeated along party-lines, including an amendment, that in lieu of funding state political campaigns, would put back money for rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, our mentally disabled and those with traumatic brain injuries. This budget also cuts municipal aid, education funding, and requires municipalities to ask their taxpayers to pick up the difference.
“On average Milford gets thirteen cents back for every dollar sent to Hartford and Orange gets a whopping five cents back,” Staneski continued. “In addition, the special favors for legislators, or earmarks, included in the implementer could instead have been used to address the opioid epidemic in our state. This did not have to happen — the Republican minority offered a plan in April that would have provided the predictability and sustainability our towns and service organizations expect from state government.”
Ferraro and Staneski said the Democrat-majority plan will:
Cuts to the Most Vulnerable and Needy
- The cuts to hospitals are deeper than the Democrats’ original plan. This proposal includes a $30 million state cut to hospitals and creates a $130 million total cut to hospitals
- There is a $1 million cut to grants for DCF Psychiatric Clinics for Children
- $13.8 million cut to DMHAS includes $5 million cut to young adult services, $7 million to grants for mental health services and $1.7 million to grants for substance abuse services at a time our state is grappling with opioid and opiate abuse epidemic.
- $580,000 cut to the American school for the deaf
- $2.2 million cut (1%) to services for the poor- TANF
- 1% Reduction to Connecticut Home Care Funding
- Fire training schools are cut by 24% ($120,000)
- Cut the Office of Early Childhood- $10.8 million
- $32.2 million cut to the Education Cost Sharing
- $4.3 million cut to Special Education
- Eliminates $23.3 million grant for school transportation and $3.4 million grant for non-public school transportation