Opinion:Bipartisan budget provides funding for seniors, education, towns and transportation

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25).

After months of negotiations, Democrats and Republicans have worked together to produce another bipartisan budget that invests in our economy, restores funding for core services, protects seniors, rejects cuts to towns and local education, funds transportation projects, and rejects fare increases and service cuts for buses and trains. The bipartisan budget accomplishes all of this while not increasing taxes and putting over $1 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Below is more information on the specifics of what we passed on May 9 at the close of the 2018 legislative session.

Bipartisan Budget

Restores Funding for Core Services

  • Restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program in full to all 169,450 seniors
  • Restores funding for Husky A coverage to 13,000 low-income working parents who otherwise would lose coverage
  • Provides $5 million for emergency placements for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Restores funding for Elderly Nutrition Program
  • Preserves grants for substance abuse treatment and mental health care
  • Provides funding for Puerto Rico evacuees living and attending school in Connecticut
  • Continues tourism and cultural programs
  • Restores $2 million to fully staff the Connecticut state veterans hospital
  • Provides $16 million to the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund to provide the required contribution of 33 percent


Fiscally Responsible

  • Puts over $1.1 billion into our Rainy Day Fund
  • No new taxes


Protects Municipal Aid

  • Restores full funding for Municipal Aid
  • Fully funds the FY 2019 Education Cost Sharing grants
  • Fully funds Renters Rebate Program, protecting 48,000 people without cost to our cities and towns


Additional Transportation Funding

  • Stops proposed service cuts on buses and rails
  • Stops proposed rate hikes on buses and rails
  • Resumes our transportation bonding program and the
  • $4.3 billion worth of projects that were put on hold earlier this year


Joe May 15, 2018 at 9:56 pm

Typical Republican cop-out.

We really don’t have two parties in the Connecticut state legislature.

We are ruled by a Uni Party.

DrewT May 15, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Let me try and hold back my desire to hold a parade for Bob’s “Accomplishments” What he fails to mention is how badly he has let Norwalk get so screwed in ECS Funding. We get back $1 for every $3 dollars we sent to Hartford. He tried to destroy the SOP for the BOE with his joke of Fix it First and if it wasn’t for the Republicans in the first place again 2 years running we wouldn’t have any budget and the Dems had no choice but to vote on it because they didn’t have anything! But to be fair Bob does show up at every Photo Op and Free Ice Cream…Still not worthy of a parade or his slogan of Standing up for whom?!?!? Defiantly not Norwalk!

Bryan Meek May 16, 2018 at 12:31 am

@Drew. Mostly accurate. Just tha part about money to Hartford. For every $20 we send we get back $1. The new school funding is great, but our deficit with Hartford over the past ten years is in the billions. Don’t worry Bob voted to make sure the Governor could bail out the city of Hartford tu the tune of $500 million. Standing up for Hartford! Awesome!.

Rick May 16, 2018 at 1:10 am

Bob Dan has rained on your parade, who does he think he is anyways?

Malloy wrote in a letter to legislators Tuesday.

“This new budget adjustment spends $197.2 million more than the original budget for Fiscal Year 2019,” he wrote. “It restores and expands various health and human service programs, outpacing benefits provided to levels well above those in our neighboring states and resulting in some of the most generous benefits in the nation. Critically, it does so without making the accompanying difficult decisions to reduce spending in other areas of the budget in order to afford these benefits.”

then Dan ends with some numbers in his letter

“We now face out-year deficits of $1.96 billion in Fiscal Year 2020, growing nearly $600 million per year thereafter, and we leave the budget reserve fund at $1.16 billion by the end of Fiscal Year 2019,” Malloy wrote.

Bob why did this press release not cover the facts?

Those who voted for you must have some inside information we are not seeing cam you help us out, is this guy Dan anyone we can trust?

while we know your checking what we are saying whats the deal here?

Democratic legislative leadership lost livable wage, paid family medical leave and an overhaul of state laws on sexual harassment in the workplace.

Bob whats next mayor of Norwalk,or parking Attenedent at the new lifestyle mall?

@Bryan when your talking what we give and then get back last week Norwalk pd did about $100,000 in tickets on an elaborate traffic cell phone crackdown , but Im told by more than one source the money never comes to Norwalk, shame we can’t get some of that back for the schools.

alan mcnichols May 16, 2018 at 8:44 am

Smoke and mirrors budget. Example…pushing out $299 MILLION of hospital receipts that may/may not get reimbursed by the Feds.
I suppose Norwalk got back some money with the state grant to Farricker’s now bankrupt Wall Street Theater…NOT!
The state lives off of FF County. Take a look at your RE conveyance taxes…they are huge and go directly into the gaping maw of Hartford.

PIBerman May 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Would it make a difference if our part time Legislators had an MBA degree ? Or is it better just to not pay attention to basic economics and finance when managing CT’s affairs.

Missy Conrad May 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

The federal government used to send the states back much more $; now, in spite of the warning from former President Eisenhower about the military-industrial complex, we allocate a huge portion of our discretionary spending to war & weapons. This past budget gave more to the Pentagon (which is the only agency that does not provide an audit) than it even asked for! This imbalance is passively accepted by most citizens, who simply blame state & local politicians for spending unwisely.
When our US Poet Laureate visited Norwalk recently, she read a poem about the Somalian pirates, whose waters are polluted & fish killed by the dirty old tankers that pass. Instead of replacing those tankers, here we build nuclear submarines- Let’s get together; education should help us connect. We are one human race, sharing & stewards for our one beautiful Earth.

Townie May 17, 2018 at 8:46 am

Every year at this time, all school construction grant applications that have been submitted by individual municipalities and have weathered the review test and approval process by the appropriate state agencies are packaged as one new fiscal grant funding package and sent to Hartford for legislative approval. The vote is taken on the entire package value and not on individual projects. A yes vote approves all projects submitted in that years state grant package. A no vote none.

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