HARTFORD, CT — Nonprofit providers came to the Capitol again Wednesday to call on lawmakers to end the budget stalemate and pass a two-year budget.
However, in a letter to lawmakers, nonprofit providers said “a quick budget resolution doesn’t mean any budget would be acceptable.” They said it must be one that funds services for those in need.
Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, said every month that goes by without a budget means an increase in the chance that a community provider will be shutting its doors.
It also means fewer Connecticut residents will be receiving services.
In August, programs funded by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services saw a 2.5 percent reduction in funding. That reduction extends to 5 percent in September and 10 percent in October.
It means 113 people weren’t receiving services in August, 262 won’t receive them in September, and even more won’t receive them in October, according to the organization. And that’s only a sliver of the mental health and addiction treatment system.
Rep. Cathy Abercrombie, D-Meriden, said not having a budget is worse.
“I’ve said it for weeks now. We need to bite the bullet and get the budget out and live with the consequences of what this budget shows,” Abercrombie said.
“Is it pretty? I’m going to be honest with you, it’s not,” she added. “It’s not a budget that I personally would like to see … but when people don’t want to be honest about revenue, this is the situation we’re in.”
The House Democrats have proposed a budget that would increase the sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.85 percent and allow municipalities to impose a 1 percent sales tax on food and beverages at restaurants.
There’s opposition to that budget from Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Republican legislative leaders have said they oppose tax increases, but have not been as critical of the sales tax proposal as they have been in the past.
Senate Republican President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said he’s saving his comments for the negotiating table.
Legislative leaders from both parties met Wednesday afternoon and then held separate press conferences.
Malloy has been running the state by executive order — which limits his authority to spend — since July 1.
The General Assembly has yet to pass a two-year budget proposal, but they did approve a $1.57 billion labor concession package at the end of July — a deal that will create larger savings in years to come but which did not solve the immediate problem, which is a projected $5.1 billion deficit over the next two years. The $1.57 billion savings cited in the labor concession package means the General Assembly still has to close a $3.5 billion deficit over the next two fiscal years.