Response to Mayor Harp’s Misrepresentation of State Aid for New Haven

August 17, 2018

Fasano Responds to Mayor Harp’s Misrepresentation of State Aid for New Haven

Yesterday New Haven Mayor Toni Harp blamed lawmakers for cutting $9.4 million to New Haven in a bipartisan state budget in her response to comments made by Senator Fasano about the need for action in New Haven following the overdoses that took place on the New Haven Green. Sen. Fasano released the following statement in response to the inaccurate claim.

“Mayor Harp’s knee jerk defense in response to my comments about the need for action in New Haven is disappointing. I worry that her misrepresentation of the facts signals a continuation of ignoring the problem and blaming others. New Haven was not cut $9.4 million by the bipartisan state budget passed by lawmakers. Even Senator Martin Looney, the Democrat leader of the Senate, has pointed out repeatedly that New Haven has fared better than other cities in the state, seeing dramatic increases in funding over the last 7 years, with total municipal aid rising from $194 million in 2011 to $226 million in 2018. New Haven has also seen a larger percentage of statewide aid than other cities and towns and has benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in bonding. While it was Governor Malloy who chose to withhold $318,000 from New Haven in fiscal year 2018, that is nowhere near the figure Mayor Harp is claiming and is a small percentage of the over $225 million New Haven receives from the state. In addition, the final bipartisan state budget lawmakers passed rejected Gov. Malloy’s cuts to state substance abuse treatment programs, because state lawmakers are working together to make sure we properly fund treatment for this public health crisis. Connecticut has a long road ahead of us to combat drug abuse in every city and town, from urban areas to rural areas. It is an epidemic that impacts people from all walks of life all across our state. But what happened in New Haven this week is particularly jolting, and shows that even with significant state aid an issue remains in New Haven that the mayor’s administration cannot ignore. This is not an issue of Republican v. Democrat. This is an issue that impacts all of us. If we hope to combat the disease of addiction and its multigenerational impact, we need unconditional recognition and honest conversation to solve the problem together.”

Click here for numbers regarding state aid to New Haven shared by the Office of Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven).