Budget Priorities on Target; Additional Savings Needed
This week CBIA testified before the Appropriations Committee to support Governor Malloy’s budget priorities and urge a bipartisan effort to find additional savings so the priorities can be met without an increase in state spending.
Achieving the priorities and keeping state spending under control are critical issues impacting jobs and Connecticut’s competitiveness, CBIA economist Pete Gioia told the committee. It’s time for fiscal vigilance and “careful and calculated investments that enhance recovery,” he said.
Some of the areas of the recommended revised budget (HB 5014) that can help achieve both of those goals include:
- Initiatives to improve educational achievement and reform the state’s public education system
- Ongoing support of the special Jobs Session initiatives
- Continued reforms in the state’s corrections system and for long-term healthcare
- Measures to improve the efficiency of state government and consolidate agencies
Measures that increase state efficiencies and effectiveness areespecially key to increasing employers’ confidence in Connecticut as a place to create more jobs and expand their investments and operations.
State Republican lawmakers held a press conference in which they shared some of their priorities for the 2012 session including focusing on fiscal responsibility, reforming public schools, improving government transparency and making more progress on job creation.
Referring to the legislature’s charge to focus on budget matters in this year’s short session, Republican leaders set goals for this year’s revised state budget, including:
- Strict adherence to the state’s constitutional spending cap</li>
- No new taxes
- No spending increases
While GOP lawmakers share several of Governor Malloy’s education priorities, such as teacher tenure reform and increasing school choice through the support of charter schools, they believe the reforms must be accomplished within existing state appropriations.
And while the state should also focus on state employee pension reform and paying down state debt faster, Republicans do not believe the state should exceed the spending cap limit to do so. For more about the Republicans’ 2012 priorities, visit ctsenaterepublicans.com.
CBIA encourages the legislature to take more steps to improve the state’s fiscal climate and help our economy grow. Gioia identifiedfurther cost savingsopportunitiesin several areas, including:
- Insisting on the millions in ideas from state employee unions’ suggestions—counted on in the budget but yet to be seen
- Additional initiatives to increase the use of home care versus institutional care where appropriate, such as those recommended by the Connecticut Regional Institute for the 21st Century
- Continued efforts to enhance and support the efforts in prison reform and the reduction of recidivism
- More widespread application of lean management techniques in state government to improve effectiveness, increase efficiency and realize cost savings. The governor’s proposal to merge more state agencies is also helpful to achieving a more effective state government
For more information, contact CBIA’s Pete Gioia at 860.244.1945 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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