News release from State House:
Bridgeport State Representatives Andre Baker (D-124th), Charlie Stallworth (D-126th), Jack Hennessy (D-127th), Christopher Rosario (D-128th), Steve Stafstrom (D-129th) and Ezequiel Santiago (D-130th) said the state budget approved by the Appropriations Committee restores many funding items that were slated to be cut under the Governor’s proposal.
Bridgeport Legislators–“We worked very hard as a delegation and the restored funds are a good indicator of the effectiveness of that work. We are also working to get funding for other important items and will continue to monitor the budget closely as it continues through the legislative process.”
“This budget meets the state’s long term debt obligations, and also restores the funding on which hard working Connecticut families rely.”–Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden)
Appropriation Committee’s proposed FY 16-17 General Fund budget also adds or restores between about $285 and $321 million per year in proposed cuts or new programs, particularly in DDS, DSS and DMHAS. Funding was also restored for the arts, culture and libraries; state parks; the housing tax abatement program; regional tourism districts; before- and after-school programs and Youth Service Bureaus; and ECS for towns that receive less than 55% of their formulaic grant.
The Appropriations Committee budget:
· Restores all of Lighthouse Program funding
· Restores $336K of a proposed $373K cut to Beardsley Zoo
· Restores $324K of a proposed $360K cut to Discovery Museum
· Restores $63k of $70k for Wakeman’s Smilow – Burroughs Clubhouse
· Restores funding for Orcutt Boys and Girls Club
State-wide programs that also operate in Bridgeport
· Restores all of Healthy Foods Initiative Funding
· Restores $6.99 MM of a proposed $8.825 MM cut to Youth Employment and Long-term Unemployed Programs
· Restores $1.28 MM of a proposed $1.43 MM cut to Healthy Start Programs
· Restores $360K of a proposed $400K cut to ABCD Early Childhood Programs
Whether all the restorations remain in the final bill or not, it would be interesting to know just how much Lighthouse gets each year from the State of CT. Lighthouse is listed first but shows no fund amount.
Lighthouse as a City-funded department is asking for $1,700,000 approximately again this year to serve fewer, about 80% of their target population year round. About $1.2 Million goes to fund the programs with different managers at different sites but other funds come from the State and Federal government according to their program description. It is well to know how much is received as part of seeing whether it is efficient and effective as a program. Families pay fees for most of these programs yet Lighthouse does not indicate nor report any revenue. OIB? Time will tell.