BUSY DAY FOR MY BLACKBERRY AND MY POOR HAND.
My blackberry was on overload today as I was hit hard by press releases from both sides reacting to Governor Jodi Rell’s Budget Proposal. Obviously, I can’t fit them all into my television story, so, I figured I would post some of the highlights from them all. There are a lot more in the “Loser’s Category” but as we say in the Business, no news is good news.
CCM: The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities applauds Governor Rell for recommitting to the state-local partnership during these trying economic times. Instead of balancing the state budget on the backs of property taxpayers, she proposes to preserve education aid at current levels, maintain general fund appropriations for major state grants to municipal general governments, provide significant relief from unfunded state mandates and establish new initiatives to encourage regional and inter-municipal cooperation.
THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION:
The resounding ‘Amen’ echoing throughout Connecticut this afternoon was the chorus of small business owners reacting to Governor Rell’s commitment to fight efforts to raise taxes
CBIA: The Connecticut business community applauds Governor Rell for putting forward a budget plan that seeks to get our economy back on track and avoid tax increases that would threaten our economy and cost jobs.
The Permanent Commission on The Status of Women:
“In dire fiscal times the last thing government should do is make it harder on those already on the short end – working families, women, students and the elderly. Eliminating groups like the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women only silences the voices that most need to be heard and allows government to be even less accountable than it is now.”–Teresa C. Younger, Executive Director
Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut: The governor’s budget calls for the elimination of the Office of the Healthcare Advocate. This would deal a devastating blow to consumers at a time when advocacy on their behalf is most urgently needed.
The Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, on Governor Rell’s recommended budget:“The Governor has proposed a $330M reduction in funding for nursing home care in this State over the next two years. A 20% cut in funding for care of the frail and elderly will force reductions of catastrophic proportions, including an unprecedented number of layoffs and facility closings.”
A STATEMENT FROM THE CONNECTICUT JUVENILE JUSTICE ALLIANCE: “We are very disappointed that Gov. Rell proposes a delay in Raise the Age, which would end Connecticut’s practice of putting non-violent minors in adult prisons.”
THE HUSKY PROGRAM: The Governor has proposed the following cuts to the HUSKY Program:
• Eliminate state-funded health care coverage for legal immigrants:
*Reduces access to health care by increasing premiums and co-pays for HUSKY families.
Connecticut Fund for the Environment , Concerned About Budget Priorities
Skilled Green Jobs At Risk Despite Rhetoric
CT PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS–The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN)–GOVERNOR’S BUDGET LEAVES 695 KIDS IN DOUBT: Rell’s budget summary portrays the “per-student rates will be flat-funded and anticipated student growth is funded.” However, analysis reveals a gap between Rell’s budget numbers and her stated intentions for this critical, high-impact element of the Connecticut school system. The result would be that these excellent public charter schools would either have to stop enrolling new students in entry grades such as kindergarten for elementary schools and fifth grades for middle schools or remove kids already attending.
WHAT THE POLITICIANS AND PARTY LEADERS HAD TO SAY:
Senate Democrats say Gov. Rell’s budget plan is a good start–but what about the 3 Billion dollar hole?
Statement by Chris Healy
State Republican Party
Gov. Rell has acted boldly and gone right to the heart of long-term issues that drive costs and have created an unresponsive government.
Putting binding arbitration on ice, consolidation of agencies, reducing mandates, eliminating state jobs and reducing bonding, and salaries shows Gov. Rell has the guts and courage to do what is needed to save our state and not worry about political consideration.
“I am heartened by the Governor’s allocation of $40 million dollars to begin regionalizing municipal government services, an idea whose time has come in the state, and one which I fully support. I also support Gov. Rell’s allocation of funding for “green-collar” jobs and, the $7.5 million she plans to allocate for the Connecticut Conservation Corps initiative. Both of these initiatives are vital to providing jobs and reinvigorating our economy in the months to come. In addition, I support her proposal to expand the bottle bill law to include non-carbonated beverages like water. Revenues from that change would go to help cities like Bridgeport.
AND THE QUOTE OF THE DAY GOES TO FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JIM AMANN: YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON AMANN FOR A GOOD SOUND-BITE OR QUOTE: STILL HOLDS TRUE NOW THAT HE IS OUT OF OFFICE RUNNING FOR ANOTHER.
RELL BUDGET USES CHAINSAW WHEN PRECISION LASER IS NEEDED TO REFORM STATE GOVERNMENT; Says Governor is setting up majority Democrats “like bowling pins”