Appropriations Committee Budget

FY 2015

March 27, 2014

The Appropriations Committee issued its FY 2015 budget proposal today.  With fund lapses, carry forwards and varying appropriations, it is $12.338M more

than the adjusted FY 2015 budget the Governor presented on February 5, 2014.

Once the committee votes on its proposal, formal negotiations will begin between legislative leadership and the Governor’s office.  A final compromise budget is expected to be passed before the legislative session adjourns May 7.

Below are the key highlights of the Appropriations Committee budget proposal that impact AFT Connecticut members.  You can read the entire document here:  http://www.housedems.ct.gov/pubs/Appropriations_Committee_Budget_FY15_Midterm_Adjustments_03-27-14.pdf.  As more details become available, we will share them with you.

The Appropriations Committee budget plan would:

  • Deposit an additional $100 million payment toward the state’s pension fund.
  • Exempt 50% of teachers’ pensions from state income tax.
  • Restore the Earned Income Tax Credit to 30%.
  • Issue a targeted gas and sales tax refund to Connecticut taxpayers, returning $55 to individuals, earning less than $200,000 and $110 to joint filers earning less than $400,000.
  • Exempt clothing under $50 and non-prescription drugs from sales tax.
  • Provide a municipal exemption from the insurance premiums tax on health plans.

 

PreK-12

  • $7.553M more than the Governor’s proposal for ECS grants, plus an additional $500K for West Hartford (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).
  • $14M for approximately 1,020 new Pre-K slots and a 4% increase in the full-day, full-year reimbursement rate from $8,346 to $8,670 per child.  It assumes 70% of the slots will have placements as of July 1, 2014 with the remaining 30% being filled by October 1, 2014.  The stated goal in the budget is to reach universal Pre-K in 2019, with access being phased in and priority given to low income three and four year olds (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).
  • $2.3M in startup costs and planning for universal access to Pre-K:  $22,500 for each classroom and $1.1M for planning grants (Same as Governor’s Proposal).
  • $478,433 for 7 new educational consultant positions at SDE phased in over FY 2015 (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).
  • $1,728,500 for CTHSS (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).

o   24 full-time maintenance positions

o   5 full-time school nurses

o   10 special educators

o   2 English Language Learner Instructors

o   Increases authorized position count by 15 to reflect moving instructor positions from durational to full-time, but no additional funding for these positions.

  • Transfer $250K from Treasurer’s Debt Service Account to the City of New Haven to support the Eli Whitney Pilot Program for youth services (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).
  • Transfer $92,000 from Treasurer’s Debt Service Account to support the Sound School in New Haven (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).
  • $469K additional to increase Family Resource Center grants by $5K and establish an FRC at Winthrop Elementary Magnet School in New London (Improvement from Governor Proposal).
  • Reduction of $3.9M in Talent Development at SDE to reflect changes in the new teacher evaluation system (Improvement from Governor’s Proposal).
  • Transfer $563K from DSS to SDE for after school programs (Improvement from Governor’s Proposal).
  • Transfer $1M from the Tobacco Settlement Fund for Interdistrict Grant programs to the After School program to fund programs in New Haven, Waterbury, Meriden, Bridgeport, Stamford, New Britain, East Hartford and Windham (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).
  • $10M for a third round of district school security grants. CTHSS and RESCs will also be eligible for these grants (Same as Governor’s Proposal).
  • $7.6M for new one-year Sheff settlement, including $1.3M for Sand Lighthouse School (Same as Governor’s Proposal).
  • Additional $500K in priority school district funding for Norwalk (Improved from Governor’s Proposal).
  • Cut $6.5M from Teacher Retiree Healthcare Fund due to the decrease in the monthly premium equivalent rate in the TRB basic health plan (medical and Rx) from $350 to $291 (Same as Governor’s Proposal).

CommPACT schools remain funded at 475,000 (Same as Governor’s Proposal).

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