Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two-Year Budget Plan Preserves Services, Protects Families

Recently, the legislature approved a two-year budget for our state.  Here is a statement from the New Britain legislative delegation about this:

New Britain Delegation Votes in Support of Two-Year Budget Plan That Preserves Services, Protects Families

September 1, 2009.  In votes cast late last night and early this morning, the New Britain Legislative Delegation supported a two-year budget for the state of Connecticut that protects vital services and the state’s safety net of programs without placing an undue burden on working families.

The $37.6 billion package — House Bill 6802, An Act Concerning Expenditures and Revenue for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2011 — was passed in a 103-to-45 vote of the House of Representatives and a 22-to-13 vote of the Senate.
“These are very difficult times,” said Senator Donald J. DeFronzo (D-6), “but these are the times when people need the services and programs that their government provides more than ever. This budget contains heavy cuts, but it saves those things that seniors, working parents, children, low-income families and the disabled need to survive, and it’s this support that will help to bring us out of this recession. This is a balanced approach, a compromise approach, and I hope that the governor approves this plan.”
“This budget represents a balance of cuts and revenues and it represents a shared sacrifice of everyone across the state of Connecticut while preserving vital service,” Representative John Geragosian (D-25), co-chair of the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee. “This budget represents the values of our state and protects our most vulnerable.”
“This budget stands up for average, everyday people by protecting things like property tax relief, Dial-A-Ride for seniors, nursing home funding, education and magnet school funding,” Representative Tim O’Brien (D-24). “This budget cuts spending and lowers taxes for middle class and poor families while preserving important public services. While I do not agree with everything this budget does, it is a reasonable compromise.”
“I am pleased this compromise budget protects important programs for New Britain area families like Head Start, after school programs and Dial-a-Ride,” said Representative Betty Boukus (D-22). “Also, our commitment to fully fund municipal aid and education funding will come as welcome news to property taxpayers who were on our mind as the budget was put together."
The budget bill cuts approximately $3 billion in state spending over the biennium and raises $1.25 billion in new revenue to help balance an $8.56 billion deficit over the next two years. The budget also:
  • Preserves the state matching grant program for Dial-a-Ride services that benefit seniors and the disabled;
  • Increases operating grants for area magnet schools to encourage increased enrollment;
  • Restores cuts to the state’s Family Resource Centers and Head Start programs;
  • Increases funding for adult daycare services;
  • Rejects the governor’s proposed cuts to nursing homes;
  • Rejects a proposed increase in bus fares;
  • Makes no changes to the ConnPACE prescription drug program for seniors and the disabled;
  • Preserves the state’s $500 property tax credit;
  • Provides full funding for the Care4Kids program;
  • Saves the New Britain Department of Motor Vehicles branch office; and
  • Protects municipal aid, including Town Aid Road and the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant.