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Voices Speaking

March 21, 2017

Voices from the Capitol (XI): Protect the Affordable Care Act

Roger Senserrich

The General Assembly will soon be shifting its focus from the Committees to the House and Senate floors. Today we will go over where the budget stands now and where it is going, updates on the latest hearings, and how to take action and get involved to defend the Affordable Care Act.

One quick note: we still want your feedback! It only takes a minute to complete this brief survey, but your suggestions and ideas are appreciated. Thanks!

This week: Committee Hearings

Judiciary Committee

Friday, March 24 - Room 2D, 10:00 AM - Agenda

Appropriations Committee

Friday, March 24 - Room 2C, 10:30 AM - Agenda

Take action! Protect the Affordable Care Act

The U.S. House of Representatives intends to hold a vote on the American Health Care Act (the Affordable Care Act repeal bill) as early as this Thursday. Many organizations, including Connecticut Voices for Children, are working together through Protect Our Care CT to coordinate a series of events, press conferences, and actions to raise our voices to defend health care in the state.

Join us at the Capitol this Wednesday, March 22, for Health Care Action Day from 10 AM to 3 PM. Stand up for health care on the eve of  the 7th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The event will start with a press conference featuring speakers who have benefited from the ACA and Medicaid at 10 AM in Room 1B. Sharon Langer, our Advocacy Director, will be one of the speakers.

From 10:30 until 3:00 PM, we'll have information and materials available at the 2nd Floor Atrium. You can talk to your legislators about the importance of health care and about your particular concerns. You can also participate in a range of activities to raise the visibility of the importance of health care programs we all count on - the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, and women's health programs.

Please post and share Health Care Action Day’s Facebook event page.

Please RSVP on Facebook or send a quick email to:  Jane McNichol, jmcnichol@universalhealthct.org.

News: Hearings and Budget Updates

Education Committee (March 20)

You can read our testimony here.

H.B. No. 7276 An Act Concerning Education Mandate Relief.

This bill eliminates the requirement that all expelled students be provided with individualized learning plans.

Why is it important? We oppose this change. The current law helps ensure a minimally adequate education for expelled students. Without an individualized learning plan, these students are at greater risk of dropping out altogether, which increases the difficulty of finding employment after leaving school and can have other negative outcomes such as increased risk of juvenile arrest.

H.B. No. 7270 An Act Concerning The Education Cost-Sharing Grant Formula For Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2018, And June 30, 2019.

The bill mandates an adequacy study on the true cost of education, while also providing a mechanism to fully fund the current Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula without cutting support to Connecticut towns.

Why is it important? We support this bill. The most important school funding issue in Connecticut is that the current ECS formula is underfunded. This bill provides a mechanism to ensure that additional funds to the ECS grant will help the towns that are most underfunded under current allocations. For that to happen, the bill mandates a study on the true costs of education to change the current distribution of the funds to take into account community needs, including special education and English language learners, as well as the town's ability to pay.

S.B. No. 1014 An Act Concerning Various Revisions and Additions to the Education Statutes.

The bill promotes community school reforms and class size reductions in high-need Alliance districts.

Why is it important? We support this bill. Community schools are defined by a system of wraparound supports for the child, the family, and schools to target student’s academic and non-academic barriers to learning. Evidence shows that community schools are very effective tools to reduce the opportunity gap, strengthen families, and increase learning.

Judiciary Committee (March 13)

S.B. No. 1025 An Act Concerning The Closure Of The Connecticut Juvenile Training School And The Transfer Of Juvenile Justice Programs And Services From The Department Of Children And Families To The Judicial Branch.

The bill would close the Connecticut Juvenile Training School by July 1, 2017.

Why is it important? Although we support the closure of this facility, we are concerned as to whether this process can be completed by July 1, 2017 without putting the juvenile justice-involved youth in this institution at increased risk. It is necessary to consider a more appropriate alternative that provides youth and their families with the therapy and supports they need as part of this process.

H.B. No. 7045 An Act Concerning Juvenile And Young Adult Justice.

This bill gradually includes young adults (18-20 year olds) in the juvenile justice system rather than the adult system, so that young adults charged with lesser crimes can access therapeutic services provided within the juvenile justice system. Young people charged with class A and some class B felonies would remain in adult court.

Why is it important? We support the first three sections of this bill, as they include effective, evidence-based policies that provide young adults the supports they need to be productive, contributing members of society. However, we oppose Section 4, which allows more 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds to be transferred to the adult system. This section stands in opposition to the intent of the rest of the bill, as it would make adult court the default system for class B felonies even for younger adolescents.

H.B. No. 7286 An Act Concerning the Recommendations of The Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee.

The bill creates and implements a community-based diversion system by utilizing resources that already exist in many communities.

Why is it important? We support this bill. It would leverage Youth Service Bureaus (YSBs) as a coordinating hub to evaluate the needs of youth and families, refer youth and families to appropriate services, coordinate and implement these services, and evaluate the effectiveness of services. This model also aims to address the context and dynamics in which the youth developed antisocial or delinquent behaviour, while limiting court involvement to the most serious cases.

Budget Updates: the Impact of Federal Grants on Connecticut’s Budget

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examines potential cuts to federal grants based on proposals from President Trump and Congressional Republicans. Federal grants accounted for one-fifth ($6.122 billion) of the state budget in 2016 and supported critical programs for low- to moderate-income families.

The federal budget pays for these grants through mandatory and discretionary spending; mandatory programs are set in permanent law, while discretionary programs have to be appropriated annually.

Mandatory grants fund programs such as Medicaid, CHIP, child nutrition programs, the Adoption and Foster Care Program, Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Social Services Block Grants (SSBG). Federal Medicaid grants to Connecticut were worth $4.582 billion in 2016.

Discretionary grants to state and local governments in Connecticut were worth $1.753 billion in 2016 and provide funding for high-poverty schools, special education, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), mental health and substance abuse services, child care, heating assistance, training and employment programs, transportation, and public safety.

The report points out that both discretionary and mandatory grants - excluding Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance program (CHIP) - were already at historically low levels in 2016; mandatory grants are lower than any other year since 1980 (equal to 0.42% of the economy in 2015), while discretionary grants were lower in 2015 than all but one year since 1980 (equal to 1.05% of the economy).

Steep cuts to these grants would be catastrophic for a state budget already mired in fiscal challenges, and would likely mean even deeper cuts to programs that are critical to low- and moderate-income children and their families.

Legislative arcana: what is next in the budget process

The calendar for the legislative session sets the deadlines for most committees to vote on bills by the end of this week, with a few exceptions. The key date is the “JF deadline”, with JF standing for Joint Favorable report. The JF deadline is the last day a legislative committee can vote for a bill to be sent to the Senate or House floor.

There are two committees, however, that stand apart: the deadline for Appropriations is April 27, while the deadline for Finance is April 28. This extra month accounts for the additional time, effort, and work needed to put together the legislature’s budget proposal, the session’s most complicated, contentious and vital bill. The tradition is that Appropriations releases its half of the budget - spending - first, with Finance releasing its side - revenue - the day after.

This year, however, the process might be more complicated. As this CT Mirror article explains, Democrats have a single-vote majority in both committees. Anything too controversial risks the budget proposal being voted down, so it is quite possible that the budget proposal produced by one of the committees (likely Finance) will be unfinished, meaning it doesn’t balance the budget. This would move most budget negotiations to the Floor - but in practice, legislative leadership and the Governor will attempt to work out a deal behind the scenes. Although it is not unusual to see some changes made this way, the negotiations are likely to be harder without a complete blueprint of the budget. Plenty of work ahead.

Spotlight: Youth Opportunity Atlas

This week we released our "Connecticut Youth Opportunity Atlas" report, offering a town-by-town analysis of the multiple factors that support or hinder youth in the state. Our analysis focuses on indicators that relate to struggling youth - young adults between 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school, pregnant youth, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

Main findings of the report include:

  • Youth opportunity is shaped by many community, peer, and educational influences.

  • Community income is a key component in understanding youth opportunity in Connecticut.

  • Communities where schools rely more heavily on exclusionary discipline have significantly more youth who disconnect from their schools and communities.

Visit our Tableau page for interactive visualizations and see how your town fares. You can download the full report here.

Upcoming Events:

Speak Out for Medicaid: Waterbury, March 22

Community leaders, parents, and health care providers will speak out against cuts to Medicaid and community health services, asking the Waterbury state legislative delegation to protect and defend parents’ continued access to essential health coverage. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 22, at 9:30 AM at Stay Well Health Center, 80 Phoenix Avenue, in Waterbury,.

Governor Malloy’s recently released budget reduces Medicaid (HUSKY A) income eligibility to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, potentially leaving thousands of low-income parents without coverage. This proposed reduction in eligibility comes on the heels of changes made in September 2015 impacting about 8,000 parents who were no longer eligible for Medicaid and did not take up private coverage through Access Health CT and are likely to be uninsured.. Even fewer of the 9,500 parents whose HUSKY coverage is targeted for elimination are likely to be able to afford coverage.

Similar events are planned in Windham, Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk and Norwich. Contact Ann Pratt at ann.prattccag@gmail.com if you have any questions.

What We Are Reading:

Two reminders:

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Education, Health, Juvenile Justice
March 20, 2017

Budget Updates: the Impact of Federal Grants on Connecticut’s Budget

Derek Thomas, M.P.A.

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examines potential cuts to federal grants based on proposals from President Trump and Congressional Republicans. Federal grants accounted for one-fifth ($6.122 billion) of the state budget in 2016 and supported critical programs for low- to moderate-income families.

The federal budget pays for these grants through mandatory and discretionary spending; mandatory programs are set in permanent law, while discretionary programs have to be appropriated annually.

Mandatory grants fund programs such as Medicaid, CHIP, child nutrition programs, the Adoption and Foster Care Program, Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Social Services Block Grants (SSBG). Federal Medicaid grants to Connecticut were worth $4.582 billion in 2016.

Discretionary grants to state and local governments in Connecticut were worth $1.753 billion in 2016 and provide funding for high-poverty schools, special education, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), mental health and substance abuse services, child care, heating assistance, training and employment programs, transportation, and public safety.

The report points out that both discretionary and mandatory grants - excluding Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance program (CHIP) - were already at historically low levels in 2016; mandatory grants are lower than any other year since 1980 (equal to 0.42% of the economy in 2015), while discretionary grants were lower in 2015 than all but one year since 1980 (equal to 1.05% of the economy).

Steep cuts to these grants would be catastrophic for a state budget already mired in fiscal challenges, and would likely mean even deeper cuts to programs that are critical to low- and moderate-income children and their families.

Issue Area:
Budget and Tax
March 14, 2017

Voices from the Capitol (X): health care reform threats

 

After a few weeks at a frantic pace, legislative hearings are coming to an end for most committees in the General Assembly. Two committees -- Appropriations and Finance -- will remain active during the next few weeks, with the state budget even more front and center.

We are at the midpoint of the legislative session. As this is our 10th Voices from the Capitol newsletter, we want to ask you for your feedback with this brief survey. It won't take more than 5 minutes of your time to complete, but your responses will help us make Voices from the Capitol even more helpful as we reach the crucial days of the session.

This week: Committee Hearings

Education Committee

Thursday, March 16 - Room 2C, 10:30 AM

H.B. No. 7252  An Act Establishing an Adjudication Process for Special Education and the Right of Parents to Observe their Child at School.

This bill gives parents the right to observe their children at school and establishes a process for parents to advocate for their children. 

Why is it important? We support this bill because observation is an important part of advocating for children with special needs, especially children who have difficulty communicating with others.  

H.B. No. 7255 An Act Establishing a Task Force to Conduct a Feasibility Study Regarding the Creation of a Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative. 

This bill seeks to study a method for making special education costs more predictable and affordable for municipalities.

Why is it important?  We applaud the intent of the bill but have concerns about representation within the task force as well as the narrow focus of the study on a predictable cost cooperative. We will advocate to expand the task force to include representatives of children with disabilities; parents of children with disabilities; special education advocates; special education instructors; and academic experts in special education. We will also advocate to expand the focus of this taskforce to consider multiple ways to ensure adequate funding for special education.

How to testify (for either bill): Public speakers will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M in the first floor atrium of the LOB. Bring 45 copies of your testimony. If you want to submit written testimony, e-mail to EDtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Finance Committee

Friday, March 17 - Room 2E, 12:00 AM

You can find the agenda for the hearing here

How to testify: A lottery determines speaker order, sign up is from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M in the first floor atrium of the LOB. Bring 35 copies of your testimony. If you want to submit written testimony, e-mail to FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov.

News: Hearings and Budget Updates

Judiciary Committee (March 13)

H.B. No. 6002 An Act Concerning "Sexting" by a Child

This bill would prevent children under the age of thirteen from being punished more harshly than children over age thirteen for engaging in sexting behaviors. 

Why is it important? Currently, sexting (sending sexual photos of oneself, or receiving them) is a misdemeanor for minors over thirteen - but a felony for children twelve and under. Sexting is a risky, but normalized, behavior during adolescent development. Imposing felony charges upon children who engage in sexting doesn't protect children - it hurts them further. Connecticut should extend the misdemeanor exception to all minors, so children who engage sexting receive age appropriate diversion services and access to supports. Here is our testimony.

Budget Updates

The Governor's budget takes on significant structural imbalances in the state budget and is balanced in its approach in that this year's budget includes cuts and revenue, unlike last year's cuts-only approach. New revenue in the Governor's budget, however, is generated largely by raising taxes on those who can least afford it, low- to middle-income families, while at the same time providing an average tax cut of approximately $100,000 for some 600 residents by raising the estate tax exemption. See our testimony here for more details, including an estate tax compromise proposal that would cost less in term of lost revenue.

We also remain concerned about proposals to exempt retirement income given the state's rapidly aging population and the impact it could have on the adequacy of income tax collections in the future. We have also proposed a compromise proposal that would exempt retirement income for resident earning less than $150,000 per year, which you can find here.

For additional information, see the impact of last year's cuts-only approach on the Children's Budget here, and see our analysis of the Governor's current biennial budget recommendations here.

Spotlight: The Federal Health Reform Bill

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is the legislation introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives to replace the Affordable Care Act. The AHCA represents the largest cut to federal health insurance programs in a generation. Its impacts are wide ranging, starting with the loss of insurance coverage for millions of low- and middle-income children and families, steep increases in out-of-pocket health care costs for millions of families, significant long term fiscal impacts on state budgets, and major tax cuts that go disproportionately to the wealthiest one percent of taxpayers.

We will be looking at the effects of the AHCA in Connecticut in the coming weeks. For now, here is what we have been reading on the new law:

Connecticut Voices for Children has joined the Protect Our Care CT campaign to protect the gains that we have made as a nation and a state in health coverage and care. The campaign brings together organizations and individuals who are taking action to preserve health care for the hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents who rely on Affordable Care Act protections, Medicare, Medicaid/HUSKY, Access Health CT, and women's health programs. The campaign's website has links to many ACA/AHCA related resources, as well as more information on their campaign and how to join.

Upcoming Events:

The Hispanic Federation, Connecticut General Assembly's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, and the Commission on Equity and Opportunity are hosting the Diversity in Public Policy-Policy Day for Communities of Color in Connecticut at the Capitol on Thursday, March 16th.

Policy Day for Communities of Color is a one-day public forum that brings together leaders, policymakers, community advocates, and constituents across our state to discuss and advance successful initiatives that support and promote government policy, program initiatives, and contributions to our mission of building strong families and strong communities. Panels and topics to be discussed include:

  • Session 1:  From Budget Stability to Equity-How Do We Get There: 1:10 - 2:10 PM
  • Session 2:  The Formula for Education Equity: 2:15 - 3:15 PM
  • Session 3:  Achieving Health Equity: 3:30 -4:30 PM

Connecticut Voices for Children will participate in the first panel. You can register for the event here

What We are Reading:

Two reminders:

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Education, Health, Juvenile Justice
March 7, 2017

Voices from the Capitol (IX): talking about new revenue

Hearings, hearings, and more hearings: we have another busy week ahead with at least five committees holding public hearings on bills that impact children and families. 

We encourage advocates to pay particular attention to the Finance Committee hearing on Thursday, as it provides another chance to make your voices heard about the need for a balanced budget with adequate revenue for essential services.

This Week: Committee Hearings
 

Public Health Committee

Tuesday, March 7 - Room 2C, 10:30 AM

H.B. 6695 An Act Concerning the Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy

The bill prohibits licensed professionals to engage in conversion therapy with any person under eighteen in the state.

Why is this important? Healthcare experts agree that homosexuality is not an illness and that conversion therapy contributes to systemic stigmatization, prejudice and discrimination. Conversion therapy is ineffective and may cause depression and anxiety; experts consider it unethical. The American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and numerous others have issued resolutions against the use of these practices.

How to testify: Sign up for the hearing will begin at 9:00 AM in the first floor atrium of the LOB. Bring 10 printed copies. You can submit written testimony to phtestimony@cga.ct.gov.

Finance Committee

Thursday, March 9 - Room 2E, 10:30 AM

S. B. 787 An Act Concerning Revenue Items to Implement the Governor's Budget

This bill translates the Governor's budget proposal regarding revenue into legislative language. Our Children´s Budget analysis has the full details.

Why is it important? The Governor's proposed budget generates $607 million in new revenue, largely by eliminating tax credits for low- and middle-income households, increasing taxes on tobacco products, and increasing expectations for revenue collections. See our Children´s Budget analysis for more details.

This presents two main problems. First, more than 40 percent of new revenue is generated by reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and eliminating the property tax credit. Combined, these proposals would create hardships for already-struggling working families. Second, if we take into account the size of the projected deficit ($3.6 billion), and the unrealistic savings projected by the Governor, the proposed new revenue is insufficient to address the total budget gap.

The state budget is a reflection of Connecticut's priorities. Long-term commitments to create opportunity for all children and families drive the state's prosperity. To support Connecticut's long term economic health, a balanced approach to the upcoming biennial budget must include new revenue to address our strategic priorities and create opportunity for all children in all communities in the state. Our revenue options brief provides several alternatives to make this possible.

How to testify:  Sign-up for the hearing will be from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM in the first floor atrium of the LOB. A lottery system will determine public speaker order. Bring 35 copies of your testimony. You can email written testimony in Word or PDF format to FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov.

Higher Education Committee

Thursday, March 9 - Room 1E, 11:30 AM

S. B. 837 An Act Concerning Apprenticeship Opportunities for High Growth, High Demand Jobs

This bill creates a task force to identify areas of growth in the labor market.

Why is it important? The state should identify growth areas in the labor market to better target its workforce development programs.

How to testify: Sign-up for the hearing will be at 10:30 AM in room 1E of the LOB. Bring 35 copies of your testimony. You can email written testimony in Word or PDF format to HEDtestimony@cga.ct.gov.

News: Recent Hearings

Finance Committee (March 3)

Last Friday, Derek Thomas and Ray Noonan testified on several legislative proposals concerning municipal revenue, property taxes, the estate and gift tax, and pension and social security exemptions.

The proposals on the table aim to scale back the estate and gift taxes as well as exempt pension and social security income from the income tax. We proposed slight modifications on equity and adequacy grounds, such as limiting retirement income only to individuals earning less than $150,000, and offsetting estate tax proposals with increase in income tax and/or capital gains rates. Read our testimony and proposals here.

Furthermore, while we support the legislature's intent to create a simpler and more equitable property tax system,  we are concerned that none of the legislature's proposed bills tackle systemic issues with the state's property tax system. Rather, we prefer an education property tax system modeled after Vermont's. Read our testimony here, as well as our report detailing our proposed education property tax system. Our proposal would cut taxes for 75 percent of residents, strengthen the tax base of our largest cities, and level the playing field so that all communities can attract jobs.

Education Committee (March 6)

S. B. 952 An act concerning the sharing of federal funding between the Office of Early Childhood and the Department of Social Services

This bill creates a mechanism to transfer $10 million or more in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant money from the Department of Social Services into the Office of Early Childhood to fund Care 4 Kids.

Why is this important? While we strongly advocate for fully funding Care 4 Kids, we urge caution with redistributing TANF money, which funds a number of other key services for children and families that should be sheltered from cuts.

S.B. 954 An act concerning the development of a plan for universal preschool

The bill tasks the Department of Education with writing a plan to establish universal preschool in Connecticut.

Why is this important? Although we applaud the consideration of what it would take to invest strongly in young children, we believe that the Office of Early Childhood should lead the creation of this plan, and that the plan should address the care and education of infants and toddlers as well.

Judiciary Committee (March 6)

S. B. 952 An Act Concerning the Legal Age to Marry in the State

We are currently tracking this bill that eliminates a provision allowing for parents - or a judge - to grant permission for a person under the age of 18 to marry, thus raising the age of marriage for all individuals to 18.

H.B. 7216 An Act Concerning Family Impact Statements in the Cases of Defendants with Dependent Children

In cases when a defendant might be sentenced to be incarcerated, their defense would be able to submit a statement describing how this might impact their dependent children. The court can consider this when making a sentencing decision.

Why is this important? When a child's parent (especially a mother) is incarcerated, the chances increase that the child will end up in foster care. Children with incarcerated parents face worse long term outcomes than other kids-with a higher likelihood of school discipline, school drop out or later incarceration.  This problem disproportionately impacts black and low-income children.

Spotlight: Voices on the Budget

 

First, a quick teaser: we are working on a report on the impact of closing the Care 4 Kids program, We are expecting to release the report this week.

When planning your testimony to the Finance Committee, you may find it useful to refer to the many reports we have produced relating to the state budget. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

You can also find interactive data presentations for most of these reports in our Tableau page.

What we are reading

 

 

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Education, Health, Juvenile Justice
March 6, 2017

A state budget that reflects our priorities - Finance Committee hearing

The state budget should reflect the core values and priorities of its residents. It should advance a vibrant, more inclusive economy. It should connect residents - funding not only roads and bridges but also public transportation and high speed internet. It should open the doors of opportunity to all children and families.

That is why your voice is needed, when the Legislature's Finance Committee will consider a number of proposals to change the revenue side of the budget.  

Several proposals will be heard that will reduce or eliminate estate and gift taxes and decrease taxes on retiree income.  Connecticut Voices for Children will be present to urge Committee members to base their decisions about these matters on hard facts rather than speculation. Connecticut needs a balanced budget approach that includes adequate revenue raised through a transparent and equitable tax structure.

Please consider joining us at the Legislative Office Building.

Finance Committee hearing

Friday, March 3 - Room 2E, 1:00 PM

Estate tax changes:

Retirement and social security exemptions:

Why are they important?  We at Connecticut Voices for Children understand the concerns of policymakers to remain competitive with our peer states when it comes to tax policy. Likewise, we recognize that retirees and individuals with high-worth estates contribute to our economy in significant ways.

There is no evidence, however, that tax policy causes residents to flee the state. Both measures will have significant costs for Connecticut. Exempting retirement income from state income taxes not only reduces revenue in the short term, but given the state's aging population, will have a bigger impact in the coming years.

Our Position: Should the legislature choose to adopt retiree income tax exemptions, we recommend that lawmakers target relief to residents earning less than $150,000 to reduce the fiscal impact of the measure and make it more equitable. Should the legislature choose to reduce gift or estate taxes, which help to reduce existing income and wealth disparity across the state, we encourage lawmakers to cover the cost of any cuts with income tax or capital gains tax increases for high earners.

Property tax and local finance:

Why Are They Important? Our property tax system stifles economic development, penalizes poor families, and deepens racial and educational inequality. These proposals introduce reforms in the system to alleviate some of these issues, be it by reducing their impact on business (S.B.7) , giving municipalities other sources of revenue (S.B.8), or providing tax relief through tax credits (S.B 415).

Our Position: These reforms are well-intentioned. We believe, however, that the property tax system requires a more systemic overhaul. We will testify about our proposal for a statewide adjusted property tax system to fund education in the state to address these issues.

How to testify:

Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. in the First Floor Atrium of the LOB.  Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. Bring 35 copies of your testimony when signing up so the committee staff can distribute them to legislators.

For written testimony, email it in Word or PDF format to FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov.

Reference Materials: Budget Reports

Connecticut Voices for Children has released several reports covering many issues relating to the state budget. They can be an useful reference when submitting testimony. 

You can also find interactive data presentations for most of these reports in our Tableau page.

Issue Area:
Budget and Tax