On a largely party-line vote, the Appropriations Committee today approved a two-year General Fund budget totaling almost $42 billion for FY 2022-23, making generous use of federal assistance, unspent Medicaid funding and state surplus money to bolster human services, education and municipal grant programs. The proposed budget represents a 4.8 percent increase over fiscal year 2023 and a 3.6 percent increase for FY24. The biennial budget adds $1.8 billion to current spending. For FY22 the budget is under the spending cap by $2.2 million; for FY23 the budget is under by $15.3 million. The Committee budget also includes $1.7 billion in FY 22 and $1.8 billion in FY 23 to support the Special Transportation Fund.
The revenue picture won’t be fully known until after the close of income tax reporting on May 17th. Only then will we know if the Appropriations Committee proposed budget is balanced. The Finance Committee is currently considering a revenue package for FY22-23.
Following are some of the highlights of the Committee budget, which will serve as the basis of budget negotiations with the Lamont Administration:
- Maintain appropriation for Governor’s statewide broadband initiative.
- Create a non-appropriated Recreation Cannabis Account to be financed with revenues from licensing and taxation of cannabis, pending passage of a bill legalizing recreational use of marijuana (see SB 1104). Programs involving the legalization of cannabis will be funded from this account.
- Increase rates for private providers of human services by $130 million in FY 22 and $80 million in FY 23. Funding will come from federal, state, and surplus funds.
- Transfer state and private PILOT payments totaling $196 million each fiscal year to the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account (MRSA) which will be used to fund a new grant program: The Tiered PILOT program. The Tiered PILOT program uses a different formula to distribute state and private PILOT payments. In addition, MRSA is funded by a diversion of state sales tax which will result in an additional $110 million for municipal grants.
- Provide funding for 10 new judges.
- Provide funding of $2.95 million in FY 22 and $2.95 million in FY 23 to increase the per-pupil charter school grants and expands new charter school seats.
- Provide $2.5 million in FY 22 and FY 23 for the Passport to the Parks program.
- Increase grants to local and regional health districts.
- Finance creation of an Office of Pandemic and Public Health within the Department of Public Health.
- Provide Medicaid rate increases totaling $20 million in FY 22 and FY 23 to home health, nonprofits and waiver service providers.
- Provide a 10% increase in chronic disease and CT Children’s Medical Center appropriation in FY 22.
- Provide funding of $13.7 million in FY 22 and $29.9 million in FY 23 to support statutory rate increases for nursing homes and intermediate care facilities. Finally, when the Finance Committee acts on various revenue proposals currently pending before the Committee, we will apprise you of the outcome.
Lisa Fecke Gaffney Bennett & Associates One Liberty Square, Suite 201 New Britain, CT 06051-2658 203-641-9072 (c) 860-229-0301 (o) www.gbact.com