The Appropriations Committee this week approved a proposal to improve state government and help take pressure off Connecticut’s overburdened state taxpayers. SB 1059 puts into play many ideas of the bipartisan Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes that will help restore long-term fiscal stability in Connecticut.
Taming state spending has to become a habit in Connecticut. A $1.5 billion tax increase in the new state budget will be a major diversion of money from the state’s economy and a barrier to job growth. In particular, the income tax hike will hinder the growth of small and midsize companies, which pay their business taxes through the personal income tax.
If changes are not made now, Connecticut could miss the opportunity for long-term reforms that will allow us to compete with other states.
Many of the recommendations in SB 1059 introduce efficiencies into state government that could help offset some of the impending tax increases. The commission’s ideas include:
- Reducing the span of control of managers to employees in state government from 1-6 to 1-10
- Establishing a Lean Government Steering Committee and increasing lean efforts in state agencies
- Continuing the deinstitutionalization of state residential facilities
- Creating a planning committee to drive changes in how Connecticut provides long-term healthcare
- Adopting a long-term healthcare rebalancing strategy
- Pursuing Medicaid waivers to reduce long-term costs
- Reviewing medical usage in state programs, such as for prescription drugs
- Coordinating efforts to maximize federal reimbursements
- Expanding the use of technology to provide more e-government services
- Helping agencies strategize and institute changes to save energy
Connecticut is far from out of the woods, as the new state budget, union concessions agreement and latest unemployment rate illustrate.
Given the size of the new state tax package, any additional savings to offset those increases would be welcome in this weakened economy. By streamlining state government, SB 1059 not only makes sense now but also helps defuse future fiscal problems.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Pete Gioia at 860.244.1945 or firstname.lastname@example.org