Info on the Governor's budget proposal
The governor's budget proposal came out yesterday and, as expected, it's a complicated attempt to address a projected $1.5 Billion deficit over each of the next 2 years.
The proposal involves a combination of tax increases (e.g., hike in the tax on cigarettes, various fees, and repeal of various tax exemptions); cost savings (including shifting costs to municipalities); and cuts to services (including millions in cuts to mental health and substance use as well as millions from reducing eligibility for HUSKY). Read about the revenue proposals here: http://ctmirror.org/2017/02/08/malloys-new-budget-relies-on-more-than-700m-in-new-revenue/
I have attached a powerpoint from the Governor's office summarizing key points, as well as the actual budget by state agency. The Budget by Agency document is quite long but each agency's part is only a couple of pages: DOH pp 45-46, DPH pp 48-49, DDS pp 54-55, DMHAS pp 56-57, DSS pp 61-65. The impact on the social services sector has been summarized by the CT Nonprofit Alliance here: http://ctnonprofitalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/AllianceGovBudgetAnalysis.pdf.
Their summary focuses on the effect on the nonprofit sector, but in addition, there are other impacts such as a 20% decrease in support to local health departments, aC10% decrease in support to School-Based Health Centers, and the elimination of funding for Community Health Centers.
The CT Mirror reports on the mental health & Medicaid cuts here: http://ctmirror.org/2017/02/08/mental-health-medicaid-cuts-draw-concern/
Some details on the DMHAS budget proposal:
Annualize FY 2017 Holdbacks, which includes cuts over appropriation to a number of line items: A $14.2 million reduction in each fiscal year.
Reduce Grants for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse Services and Employment Opportunities: A $4.7 million reduction in each fiscal year.
Reduce Funding to Reflect Restructuring of State Operated Services, to reflect savings due to the conversion of certain state-operated services to private operation: A $2.5 million reduction in FY18 and a $5.0 million reduction in FY19.
Consolidate Regional Mental Health Boards & Regional Action Councils: A $1.2 million reduction in each fiscal year. (This leaves approximately $0.5 million in total funding for what are currently 18 organizations working at the local and regional levels.)
Relocate Detoxification Services from the Blue Hills campus in Hartford to Middletown: A reduction of $911,000 in FY18 and $1.2 million in FY19.
Reduce funding in certain lines including Managed Service System, TBI Community Services and Home and Community Based Services: A reduction of $465,000 in each fiscal year.
Fund Legal Services at Consent Decree Level: A reduction of $388,000 reduction in each fiscal year.
Increase Funding in Various Lines to reflect increased costs in translation, medical services costs, Workers’ Compensation Claims, Nursing Home Screening and Behavioral Health Medications: A increase of $3.2 million in each fiscal year.
Increase funding for caseload growth and annualization for behavioral health services for low income adults and Money Follows the Person: An increase of $2.7 million in FY18 and $5.4 million in FY19.
In the next 2 weeks there will be public hearings in Hartford where you can speak before the Appropriations Committee about the programs and services you care about. You can have 3 minutes to speak and you should send your testimony in writing in advance to APPtestimony@cga.ct.gov.
Thursday, Feb 16 starting at 4:30pm: Public Hearing before the Appropriations Committee on the DCF and DSS budget proposals.
Friday, Feb 17 starting at 4:30: Public Hearing before Appropriations on the DOH budget proposal.
Thursday, Feb 23 starting at 4:30pm: Public Hearing before Appropriations on the DMHAS, DPH, and DDS budget proposals.
It's important that you make your voice heard! The legislature wants to hear from the public in order to make their changes to the proposed budget.