Perillo, McGorty, Kelly & Republicans Lay Out Budget Fix

March 16, 2016

Package Restores Funding to Hospitals & Maintains Core Government Services

HARTFORD – State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113), Ben McGorty (R-122) and Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) stood with Senate and House Republicans today, proposing a plan to close the 2016 budget deficit and restore funding to Connecticut hospitals.

“Merely three months ago majority Democrats advanced an inadequate budget fix in special session that was in deficit almost immediately,” said Rep. Perillo. “We are now standing at $220 million in deficit in the final months of this budget year. We offer these budget adjustments in an attempt to provide an alternative that preserves necessary services and the safety net for those most in need, while making strategic, targeted cuts during this budget’s final months.”

“We are offering this proposal in good faith, and we hope that the governor and Democratic majority will seriously consider what we are putting forward,” said Rep. McGorty. “There is no need for mass layoffs of state employees, or other draconian measures. We can move forward with a solution that makes some tough choices, gives our hospitals relief, and doesn’t hurt our most vulnerable citizens.”

“Facing a deficit that has grown to $220 million since December, state Republicans offered a solution that saves jobs,” said Sen. Kelly. “This proposal avoids layoffs that would hurt middle class families and restores funding to hospitals that provide care for the neediest of our citizens. These fixes need to be implemented as soon as possible in order to reach necessary savings to end the 2016 budget year in the black.”

The Republican proposal would close the state’s $220 million current year deficit as estimated by the governor’s office and state comptroller. The proposed mitigation package would restore all $140 million in promised funding to hospitals, of which the state’s share totals $31.6 million. This funding is partial reimbursement for hospitals’ Medicaid expenses and the care they provide to those most in need.

The proposal does not include the governor’s suggested layoffs nor does it inflict a harmful 3 percent across the board cut to private providers as proposed by the governor.

The Shelton legislators said Republicans are instead proposing an alternative to potential layoffs through a two-day furlough for targeted state employees and benefit changes in future years, as well as 15 percent cuts to the remaining funds in multiple state accounts and targeted reductions.

Also in the plan are multiple cuts to the state legislature including a 10 percent pay cut for lawmakers, the elimination of remaining legislator franking privileges, the reduction of legislative caucus budgets by $100,000 each, and a reduction of legislative expenditures.

The plan accepts the governor’s proposed forgoing of managerial raises in the executive and judicial branches and elimination of a revenue transfer moving funds from this year to next year’s budget.

Republicans are also proposing a list of long-term structural changes to implement savings in future years. These long-term changes include capping state bonding to reduce future debt, mandatory approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly, changes to state employee health and pension benefits, implementation of an enforceable state spending cap, the creation of an office of overtime accountability and multiple other changes.

Governor Dannel Malloy indicated through a spokesman that, though he did not support all elements of the Republican proposal, that it was an “honest effort” put forth by Republicans. He indicated that he would sign the Republican budget adjustments if they were passed out of the General Assembly.

“The governor has indicated that our proposal would earn his support if passed,” added Perillo. “All that remains is for majority Democrats to get on board. I hope they do.”

The full detail of the Republican proposal CAN BE VIEWED HERE.