The Connecticut Business and Industry Association is recommending five changes to Connecticut’s budget to address the state’s budget crisis.
Submitted to the Connecticut General Assembly,the group’s fiscal report, Fixing Connecticut’s Fiscal Problems, seeks to provide both short- and long-term solutions for resolving the fiscal situation. Connecticut is facing a two-year deficit estimated at approximately $5 billion
The CBIA report identifies five key areas of reform including:
- Modifying state employee retirement benefits;
- Expanding the use of quality nonprofit providers;
- Continue reforming the corrections systems;
- Rebalancing long-term health care; and
- Continue streamlining state government.
“It’s critical that state government becomes more effective, more accountable and creates more affordable policies for its families and businesses,” said CBIA President and CEO Joe Brennan. “We have to keep state spending within taxpayers’ means. Tax increases cannot be the only option on the table–they haven’t worked and they will continue to make this situation worse.”
“The state must deliver essential state services to the neediest citizens, and find a way to do so that doesn’t increase taxes and drive more families and businesses out of the state,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia. “Accelerating the conversion of state services to nonprofit community providers and continuing to streamline the corrections system alone could save hundreds of millions of dollars in a short amount of time.”
The report not only identifies areas of reform, but each section includes best practices implemented by other states.
“It’s important to see where other states are excelling and determine how their best practices can work for Connecticut,” Brennan said. “We are not alone in facing our challenges, but failure to address them now will make it extremely difficult for Connecticut’s economic recovery to catch up to neighboring states any time soon.”
The report also emphasizes the importance of abiding by the state’s spending cap.
“Holding the line on spending cap exemptions is critical to controlling state spending, restoring long-term fiscal stability to Connecticut, and demonstrating to taxpayers and businesses that the state is serious about improving its economic competitiveness,” Brennan said.