Greenwich delegation supports Pathway to Sustainability

State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) joined their fellow Republican lawmakers on Monday, April 25 in support of a revised 2017 budget proposal that closes the state’s projected $935.7 million deficit, restores funding to core social services, protects local town education funding, and implements long-term structural changes to the state budget. The Pathway to Sustainability proposal includes savings that roll out over the next five years, mitigating future projected budget shortfalls.

“This plan is a logical approach to getting our state back on track and back in the black. For the first time since I have been in this caucus, we have created a 5 year plan that creates a surplus, makes long term structural changes, and protects the state’s most vulnerable,” said Rep. Floren.

“Not only does this plan restore cuts that were made to ECS funding, it also protects education grants for early literacy, early care and education, and school based clinics. It provides a path for our state to be prosperous and will allow us to start paying down our debt and leave our children with a bright future,” said Rep. Bocchino.

“The path to Connecticut’s economic resurgence calls for a bold path that the Pathway to Sustainability budget proposal would take us on. It solves a myriad of issues, looks to the long term, and provides us with predictability for our future,” said Rep. Camillo.

Rather than constantly creating deficit mitigation plans, the Pathway to Sustainability plan includes a line by line budget to mitigate the fiscal year 2017 deficit, as well as long term structural changes to prevent future deficits. The GOP five year plan is projected to produce annual surpluses, with a cumulative total of over $1 billion.

The proposed Republican budget would restore funding to core social services, while also making needed cuts and implementing new policies that generate long-term savings. This includes the following:

  • Protects funding for social services. In order to preserve the safety net of services for the disabled, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty, this proposal eliminates new proposed budget cuts to direct services.
  • Restoration of support for hospitals and Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Restores education funding for towns and increases statutory grants to municipalities. Also preserves funding at 100% for car tax capping and implements a robust municipal mandate relief package. Maintains funding throughout the next 5 years.
  • Administrative reductions. To enable the state to protect funding for core services, this budget cuts specific, non-service accounts by 12% for a total savings of $157.5 million.
  • Legislative givebacks including legislative salary reductions and elimination of unsolicited mail.
  • Modifications to debt service and a cap on state bonding.
  • Funds transportation development with “Prioritize Progress” – a no tolls/ no tax increases plan.
  • Implements long-term structural changes to the state budget including mandatory voting by the legislature on labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding, and many more, detailed in the attached document.
  • Prices out savings from changes to unionized state employee health and pension benefits, to offer an alternative to layoffs should unions come to the negotiation table.

The 2016 legislative session will adjourn on Wednesday, May 4.

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