On April 5 we invite you to meet Connecticut’s top legislative leaders. The breakfast will be held at the Crowne Plaza, Stamford. (Google map listed below.)
Speakers on the 2017 panel include:
Governor Malloy proposed his $40.6b, two-year budget to a legislature that looks significantly different in 2017. Republicans and Democrats are now equally represented in the Senate, the Democrats maintain a slight seven seat edge in the House and the Legislative Leadership welcomes a new Speaker of the House and 2 Senate President Pro Temps.
‘Education is economic development’
Central to that budget is a significant proposal that the Governor has described as ‘ensuring equal opportunity of success’ by ‘tackling the challenge of inequity in town aid.’ Acknowledging ‘large pockets of concentrated poverty’ in municipalities with the highest tax burdens and poorest educational performance, the Governor is proposing to create a more equitable solution by updating the Educational Cost Sharing formula, which guides approximately $4.1 billion of state funding. Reflecting on the cuts already made to state services and sacrifices made by state employees, the Governor is proposing to fund this new system in part by having towns share in the cost of their teachers’ pensions as municipal employees to the tune of $400 million.
The heavy lift
In order to close the $1.7 billion dollar deficit identified in the Governor’s budget, if current services remain unchanged, he has proposed, among others, $700 million in savings expected from negotiations on the state employee labor contracts, $400 million shift of town aid, and an additional $200 million from reductions in income tax credits, ultimately reducing new spending by $1.36 billion.
While the Legislature works to craft a budget, Republican leadership has identified their opportunity to address this session – the state employee benefits contract, expressing doubt that the Governor will be able to achieve the $700 million in savings.
Referring to the Governor’s proposals as a ‘bait and switch budget’ with ‘middle class tax hikes’ the Republicans have pledged to have an alternative budget ready by early May, one month before the session ends on June 7.
So where does Connecticut’s Legislative Leadership stand?
On April 5th, the state’s Democratic and Republican leadership will provide us a candid glimpse into the current budget negotiations.
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