Senator Kevin Kelly: Re: State Budget Cuts Shouldn’t Come at Expense of Seniors

June 19, 2017

By: Senator Kevin Kelly

 On Friday I read a letter that was submitted to the Republican American, it was well written and discussed the importance of cost-effective home care services and helping seniors age in place. I would like to align myself with these comments, frankly I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The importance of helping seniors age in place and protecting vulnerable Connecticut residents from drastic cuts has been one of my most important initiatives in Hartford. I have watched Governor Malloy cut funding to important senior programs and watched as he takes no steps to help seniors age in place. While the governor’s business-as-usual budget does not protect seniors there is a better alternative, a budget that does; the Senate Republican Budget which maps out A New Direction for Connecticut.

The Senate Republican Budget Proposal rejects the Governor’s cuts to seniors and instead, funds the Connecticut Home Care Program, and core senior services like meals on wheels, Alzheimer’s respite, the personal needs allowance and funding for non ADA dial-a-ride.

And, we also call for the repeal of the state income tax on Social Security income and a seven-year repeal phase in on all pension and annuity income for single income tax filers with income below $75,000 and for joint filers below $100,000.

By 2032 the number of our seniors is projected to balloon and increase by nearly 69 percent, making Connecticut seniors one quarter of the total population. If we continue to spend in the same manner as is currently done, when the senior population increases in 2032, the state could be spending at least $5 billion on nursing home care. How are we going to afford this?

The Senate Republican Budget proposal will enact cost-effective ways to address our aging population, while continuing to fund essential community based programs, programs which make it affordable for families to meet the high expenses of staying at home – which is actually less expensive for the state.

Our families cannot shoulder more burdens because of the fiscal irresponsibility and hostility toward aging in place initiatives and our seniors. We must work to provide people a choice of how they want to age, without harmful cuts. At the end of the day our seniors deserve better and that is exactly what is included in our Senate Republican Budget proposal. A bold and better path to give Connecticut A New Direction.

Learn more about what’s in our budget proposal and state employee labor savings plan on our website