Governor Dannel Malloy is putting a bright face on his budget proposal, but if his proposed cuts go through it will wreak havoc for Bridgeport’s city budget. News release from Malloy:
(HARTFORD, CT) – Presenting his Fiscal Year 2014/15 budget to the General Assembly, Governor Dannel P. Malloy today outlined an ambitious agenda that builds on the investments made over the past two years in job creation and education without proposing any new taxes. In order to achieve those goals, the Governor’s proposed budget reduces spending by $1.8 billion off the state’s current services budget.
“[This budget] furthers a plan we started two years ago,” the Governor said. “A plan to get our finances in order, to live within our means, and to do it while making bold investments to create jobs and grow our economy.”
The Governor’s budget reaffirms his commitment to moving the state’s economy forward by investing in growth industries like bioscience, and by expanding the University of Connecticut’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program to “foster the next generation of Connecticut scientists, teachers, doctors, engineers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs.”
“Even in difficult times–especially in difficult times–we have to keep investing in our future,” said the Governor.
In addition to cutting $1.8 billion from the current services budget, the plan is 5.8% lower than spending projections under the prior administration. The budget also fully utilizes generally accepted accounting principles, fulfilling a promise Malloy made two years ago.
In addition, the Governor announced a proposal to provide middle class tax relief to Connecticut families, including elimination of the car tax for vehicles valued under $28,000. Towns and cities will have the option of implementing the proposal on July 1, 2013. Statewide implementation will begin on July 1, 2014. Both private and commercial vehicle will be covered by the exemption. In addition to lowering costs for state residents, the proposal will also lower costs to municipalities, who will no longer be responsible for collecting the tax.
The Governor’s tax relief package also includes reinstating the exemption on sales tax for clothing. The exemption will cover items under $25 beginning July 1, 2014, with a full restoration of the $50 exemption by 2015. “The families and the businesses of Connecticut have enough on their shoulders,” Governor Malloy said. “This budget asks no more of them. In fact, I’m proposing we give them some much-deserved help. … These changes won’t solve all of a working family’s problems. But, as we continue the hard work of reforming our state finances and of growing jobs, they can still mean something to families working hard to make ends meet. Let’s make it happen.”
Holding true to the commitment he made during his first days in office, the Governor also announced that towns and cities would be held harmless from budget reductions. The proposal also increases education funding by $152 million, with more than 90% of that funding targeted to low performing districts. Governor Malloy has increased funding every year since being elected.
“My proposed budget is a clear indication of how far we’ve come together and also a stark reminder of how far we still have to go,” the Governor concluded. “As we negotiate throughout this session, it is my hope that everyone in this chamber–Democrat and Republican–will be part of that process.
“Let’s not allow ideology to stand in the way of progress or compromise. There is much we agree on.
“Let’s not make this budget be about division. Let’s make it about coming together, and about continuing on the path we started down two years ago.”
Highlights: Governor Malloy’s FY 14-15 Biennial Budget
· The Governor’s budget is balanced, and stays under Connecticut’s spending cap
· Cuts spending by $1.8 billion off current services over the next two years
· Honest and transparent: uses generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
Giving Middle Class Families a Break
· No new taxes
· Does away with all property taxes on the first $20,000 of a vehicle’s assessed value (meaning owners of vehicles with market values under $28,500 would pay no property taxes at all)
· Reinstates tax exemption for clothing up to $25 starting next year, as first step toward completely reinstating original $50 exemption in July, 2015
Continuing Historic Investments in Education
· Increases ECS funding by $152 million over the next two years
· Third consecutive year that Governor Malloy has increased funding for education, at a time when many states are slashing education funding
· Continues support for critical education reforms that help turn around struggling schools, improve student outcomes, and broaden the range of education choices
Continuing Investments in Jobs and Economy
· Next Generation Connecticut invests $2 billion into UConn to foster the next generation of Connecticut scientists, teachers, doctors, engineers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs
· Bioscience Innovation Act will strengthen Connecticut’s bioscience sector, helping boost Connecticut’s economy with thousands of good paying jobs with good benefits
· Continues aggressive efforts to lower energy costs for families and businesses; energy costs already down 12 percent overall during past two years
Refusing to Pass the Buck to Local Property Tax Payers
· Holds Connecticut cities and towns harmless: no municipality receives less total funding than in the prior year, and most will receive more
· Capital budget invests nearly $1.5 billion to help grow local economies, including more than $980 million to help build new schools, $140 million for Urban Act and STEAP grants, and $173 million for Town Aid Road and Local Capital Improvement programs