Republicans Seek Public Hearing on Governor’s Cuts to Human Services & Public Health

September 29, 2015

Hartford – Republican ranking members on the General Assembly’s Human Services and Public Health committees are asking their committee chairs to hold a public hearing on the governor’s recent budget rescissions. Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington), Representative Terrie Wood (R- Darien) and Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) wrote to the Democrat chairs of both committees seeking an opportunity for the public to share their input regarding the governor’s $103 million cuts hitting hospitals, mental health care, developmental services, substance abuse treatment, and other social services.

“We suspect you share our concern about the impact of these reductions,” the lawmakers wrote to the committee chairs. “Before they become a reality, we ask that the General Assembly’s Human Services Committee and Public Health Committee hold a public hearing to better understand the extent of the damage these rescissions will create.

“These cuts were imposed without any input from the public or from lawmakers and the constituents we represent. While the governor does have rescissionary authority, the extent of these cuts concentrated on public health and human service areas raises serious questions.”

The Republican lawmakers said that while they don’t always agree with their Democrat colleagues, this is an issue where there is common ground.

“These rescissions have undone the hard work you put in to restore many social services reductions the governor initially proposed in February. Although we did not see eye to eye on the final budget, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle clearly opposed the worst of these cuts. Unified opposition helped move Connecticut in a different direction; I hope we might again work together to that end,” they wrote.

The governor’s rescissions include a $63.4 million cut to Medicaid payments for hospitals, over $7.6 million in cuts to services provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for those with mental health and substance abuse programs, and over $5.7 million in direct reductions to services provided to individuals with developmental disabilities.