Buckbee casts vote for state budget compromise
Published 12:00 am, Friday, May 11, 2018
State Representative Bill Buckbee (R-67th) has announced he voted in favor of a state budget compromise that does not implement any new taxes or a tolling system.
It does maintain funding to the state’s most vulnerable populations.
“While this is in no way, shape, or form a perfect budget it represents a quality compromise between both sides of the aisle,” he said. “We worked hard to maintain funding to seniors, school children, and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
“However, we have a long way to go in order to reach a point of fiscal prosperity here in Connecticut,” he said. “It is important that in the outyears we strive to diminish the state’s staggering unfunded pension liabilities and not rely on policies that deplete the Rainy Day Fund.”
A provision not included in the compromise was a mechanism to close the state’s unfunded pension liabilities by adding funds to the public employee pension debt, retired teachers’ pension debt, and to allow money to remain the Rainy Day Fund.
Buckbee said the budget disallows the governor from making unilateral discretionary cuts to cities and towns across the state, preserving the availability of state resources for the core services of government.
The budget maintains service delivery to Connecticut seniors through fully funding the Medicare Savings Program, and also funds the Old Age Assistance program.
New Milford’s school children will continue to receive the resources necessary for a quality education by maintaining funding levels through Education Cost Sharing.
Additionally, the state will appropriate additional funds to the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare account.
The intellectual and developmentally disabled (I/DD) community will be served through a COLA increase to private providers, many of which have not received an increase in over a decade.
COLA increases are representative of the rising costs of living, so wages are adjusted to be slightly higher.
Additionally, emergency placements through the Department of Developmental Disabilities are funded along with the Aid to Disabled account. “Tabling the implementation of tolls was a major point of success within the budget compromise,” he said. “Transportation projects through the Department of Transportation will no longer face the delays, as threatened by the governor earlier this year.”
“In addition, I am pleased to report the New Milford’s municipal aide will remain at the promised levels,” he said.
The budget compromise cleared the House with nearly unanimous support with a final tally of 142-8, and was also approved by the Senate.
It now heads to the governor’s office for its action.