FACT CHECK re: Questions Asked/Comments Made During Senate Debate on CT Senate Republican Budget

June 7, 2017

Below please find detailed answers to the questions asked and responses to the comments made in the Senate circle regarding the Connecticut Senate Republicans’ proposed budget. Every single number in this budget is fully vetted by the Office of the Fiscal Analysis.

Budget Documents Have Been Previously Made Available in Full

The Connecticut Senate Republican line-by-line budget proposal was first made available publicly and posted to the caucus website on April 27, 2017. Detailed updates were made publicly available on May 16, 2017 and on May 31, 2017. In addition municipal runs were made available on April 27, 2017 and also made available today with updates.

This Budget Contains No Reduction in Contributions to Pension Payments

The Senate Republican budget transfers the fringe benefit expenses associated with the constituent units of higher education from the comptroller’s central accounts to the individual colleges and universities. In total $263.5 million is transferred from the central account into each individual constituent unit as estimated by OFA. No reduction to the state’s actuarial required contribution has been recommended.

 Changes to DMHAS include increased funding for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

This budget includes reductions associated with the conversion of services from the public sector to the private sector. There are no reductions in services for mental health and substance abuse treatment. In fact, this budget rejected the annualization of holdbacks from FY 2017 to mental health and addiction services. Therefore, this budget results in an increase in funding to mental health care and substance abuse treatment.

 Details on Position Reductions

Our budget streamlines government functions in human resources, information technology, communications and attorneys. In addition, the budget recommends that all agencies only have one deputy commissioner and one executive secretary. These changes to middle management are detailed below.

Senate Republican Office Proposed Government Reorganization
         
  Number of Filled Positions Maintain at Current Agency Proposed Transfer Position Eliminated
Executive Secretaries – No More than 1 Per Agency 63 30 0 33
Communications – Reduce and Consolidate to Gov 12 0 4 8
Information Technology from Various Agencies to BEST 347 119 86 136
Attorneys from Various Agencies to the AG 188 55 52 81
Non-DAS Human Resource Personnel to DAS 284 104 90 90
Deputy Commissioners – No More than 1 Per Agency 33 9 0 24
Total 927 317 232 372

Average Salary for Executive Branch Employee

According to the Office of Fiscal Analysis as of May 16, 2017 the average salary for full time executive branch employees was $74,000.

 Reductions to UConn

The state’s university currently has exceptionally high administration expenses for such a small state. The administration of UConn also continues to benefit from significant raises even during challenging budget times. The proposed reductions to UConn should be borne by reorganization of administrative functions, not by students. Taxpayers, and students, cannot afford the excessive administrative costs our state university currently supports.

This Budget Does Not Convert Police and Corrections Officers to Compensatory Time

After taking into account feedback from the governor, this budget was revised to remove a previous proposal to transition police and correctional officers from overtime to comp time.