Creating a new two-year state budget that can solve a billion-dollar-plus deficit and keep Connecticut’s economy on the recovery track is the biggest task facing state lawmakers in the second half of the 2015 legislative session.
What’s the way out--how can they do both? Actually, two ways: Reject new or higher taxes, and reform state spending.
It’s clear from the constant cycle of budget deficits and tax increases that the state budget has grown far beyond what taxpayers—and our economy—can afford.
Raising taxes isn’t the solution. But making state government more effective and efficient can be a big part of it.
Many state lawmakers are greatly concerned about the situation and at the same time hopeful of ideas that, at their request, CBIA and other outside experts are developing to bring to the budget table.
We need comprehensive reform; Connecticut can no longer continue to conduct business as usual if we are to move up in national competitiveness rankings and stay a desirable place for job creators to locate and invest in our people and communities.
Here’s a look at several overall areas of budget improvement, many from the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century:
- Reform long-term healthcare by increasing the numbers of those receiving quality home-based care as opposed to institutional care
- Reform the corrections system to reduce costs and enable Connecticut’s nonviolent offenders to build productive lives
- Carefully expand the use of nonprofit agencies to deliver quality programs and services at much less cost than the state
- Continue streamlining state government by using LEAN practices that increase efficiency and remove duplication and waste
These are the types of reforms that can bring about significant short- and long-term budget savings and help state government work more effectively and efficiently.