Trumbull legislators condemn state budget plan

State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) strongly opposed a state budget proposal Friday, May 13, in the General Assembly’s special session which provides only a stop-gap solution, pushing Connecticut’s financial problems into the future,slashing mental health and addiction services as well as further punishing our state hospitals.  

House and Senate Republicans, along with the three Trumbull representatives offered a better, balanced solution for the next fiscal year as well as a plan for the future.

“This budget reflects the wrong-headed priorities of the Democrat majority. They decide to go after the most vulnerable in our state by eviscerating our state hospitals with a $130 million cut," said Rep. Rutigliano. “They also slash state mental health and addiction services — while the state is in the midst of an ongoing opioid addiction crisis in our state.”

Rutigliano, Devlin and McGorty hosted an opiate addiction community forum in January and worked with Trumbull prevention advocates to craft legislation that passed the General Assembly last month.  

“This budget, forced by the majority, is a ‘get me through an election’ budget. It represents business as usual, with no long term structural change that will turn our state around. Connecticut can and should do better than this budget. It relies on fund sweeps, and the hope that state residents drink, smoke and gamble to provide additional revenue,” said Rep. Devlin. “Budgets cobbled together like this will only encourage more companies, like GE, and our residents to leave our state.”

"The budget that the majority Democrats put out today is more of the same and worse," said Rep. McGorty. "It is balanced on the back of local property taxpayers while making deep cuts to education, hospitals and social services.  

“Without meaningful structural changes to the way we budget, we will never get the state back to the economic strength it ought to have," he added.

The Democrat-majority plans to make cuts to the most vulnerable and needy, McGorty said in a press release.

Such cuts include:

  • The cuts to hospitals are deeper than the Democrats’ original plan. This proposal includes a $30 million state cut to hospitals and creates a $130 million total cut to hospitals

  • There is a $1 million cut to grants for DCF Psychiatric Clinics for Children

  • $13.8-million cut to DMHAS includes $5 million cut to young adult services, $7 million to grants for mental health services and $1.7 million to grants for substance abuse services at a time our state is grappling with opioid and opiate abuse epidemic.

  • $580,000-cut to the American school for the deaf

  • $2.2-million cut (1%) to services for the poor- TANF

  • 1% Reduction to Connecticut Home Care Funding

  • Fire training schools are cut by 24% ($120,000)

  • Cut the Office of Early Childhood- $10.8 million

The representatives were also quick to point out the following education cuts:

  • $32.2-million cut to the education cost sharing

  • $4.3-million cut to special education

  • Eliminates $23.3 million grant for school transportation and $3.4 million grant for nonpublic school transportation

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