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Impact of the Governor's Proposed FY 2017 Budget on Children and Families

Nicholas Defiesta, CT Voices for Children

Governor Malloy’s state budget proposal attempts to address Connecticut’s long-term challenges by balancing the budget on the backs of children and families.

Under the Governor’s proposal, spending on the Children’s Budget – state government spending that directly benefits young people – would decrease by almost $200 million, or 3.3%. Among the cuts proposed by the Governor that would harm Connecticut’s young people and families are:

  • $69.4 million to the State Department of Education

  • $48.6 million to higher education through reductions to the Board of Regents, University of Connecticut, and the Office of Higher Education;

  • $41.2 million to the Department of Children and Families; and

  • Many as yet unspecified reductions to smaller programs that are important to the wellbeing of our next generation.

The Governor’s budget proposal makes two significant changes to the way we budget by no longer including current service estimates and by consolidating spending within agencies into a line item called “Agency Operations.” These changes may lead to underestimating the true effect of cuts on services, and reduce budget transparency and accountability by masking changes to individual line items.

In order to address our state’s long-term challenges while maintaining our investment in the next generation, Connecticut Voices for Children recommends:

  • Pursuing transparency and accountability in budgeting by restoring current service estimates and reversing agency consolidations.

  • Maintaining and expanding proven state investments in programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit and early care and education.

  • Reforming our state’s property tax system to address disparities across towns, redress differences in basic education funding, and alleviate the unfair burden that hurts many of our state’s most vulnerable residents.

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