For Emily's List to say that weren't criticizing the Democratic legislature's 2009 budget although they highlighted Esty's "Republican Light" alternative budget proposal in the same paragraph is disingenuous at best.
Emily's List (the organization that wants "to create a progressive change") stooped new a new low today with this piece of their latest hitpiece slamming Democrats at the State Capitol who fought against the draconian budget proposal from the GOP.
Significant Program Expenditure Changes from SB 1801
The majority of the Democratic Alternative [DA] Plan's reductions fall in the Human Services and Educational functions of government. See Table 2. Following the table are descriptions of the major changes to spending that are contained in the DA Plan.
Department of Labor
● Reduce funding for Connecticut's Youth Employment Program by $ 2. 0 million in FY 11. Funding is provided at the reduced level of $ 1. 5 million in FY 11.
Department of Public Health
● Eliminate funding for Fetal and Infant Mortality Review by $ 315,000 in each year of the biennium.
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
● The Democratic Alternative budget concurs with the Governor's proposal to reduce funding for housing supports by $ 2. 5 million in both FY 10 and FY 11. This includes a reduction of $ 1. 2 million in FY 10 and FY 11 to reflect the delay of planned housing expansions and a reduction of $ 1. 3 million in FY 10 and FY 11 for housing subsidies.
● Funding for Local Mental Heath Authorities is reduced in the amount of $ 3. 5 million in FY 10 and FY 11.
● The Democratic Alternative budget concurs with the Governor's proposal to close Cedarcrest Hospital. This will result in a net savings of $ 6. 7 million in FY 10 and $ 8. 7 million in FY 11.
Department of Social Services
The DA Budget includes various reductions originally proposed by the Governor, yet not included within SB 1801. Major items and associated savings by fiscal year include:
● Eliminate most adult dental coverage under Medicaid and SAGA
● Impose cost sharing (co-payments) under fee for service Medicaid
● Increase HUSKY B premiums for Band 2 to $ 50 for families with one child; $ 75 for those with two children, and $ 100 for families with three or more children
● Eliminate coverage of most over the counter (OTC) drugs under Medicaid and SAGA
Other major changes included within the Democratic Alternative budget are:
● Concurring with the Governor's original recommendation to fully eliminate state funded Medicaid for non citizens (for a savings of $ 23. 6 million in FY 10 and $ 24. 5 million in FY 11). SB 1801 had provided for continued service provision to children and pregnant women (for a lesser savings of $ 9. 3 million FY 10 and $ 9. 75 million FY 11).
State Department of Education
● Reduce School Readiness by $ 1. 0 million in both fiscal years. This change eliminates the additional funds for professional development but does not impact the number of slots.
● Reduce Sheff Settlement by $ 1. 0 million in both fiscal years.
● Reduce Omnibus Education Grants by $ 1. 0 million. This will reduce the per meal reimbursement for Healthy Foods, from ten cents to five cents.
● Eliminate the After School Program (which results in a savings of $ 4. 5 million).
● Suspend the operation of Wright Technical School and eliminate the additional funding contained in HB 1801 for Wright Technical School. This results in a savings of $ 5. 075 million in each fiscal year.
● Reduce Open Choice increase only to reflect current services needs. This results in a savings of $ 1. 37 million in FY 10 and $ 4. 12 million in FY 11.
● Eliminate additional funding for Edison and Wintergreen magnet schools, which results in a $ 1. 5 million savings in each year.
● Reduce funding for the American School for the Deaf, which results in a savings of $ 1. 0 million in both years.
● Eliminate funding for Early Reading Success, which results in a savings of $ 2. 3 million in both years.
● The July 30th plan passed by the Appropriations Committee included a $ 13. 4 million reduction to the Excess Cost grant, which will result in a 10% reduction to municipalities.
● Eliminate funding to expand Family Support Centers, with a reduction of $ 1 million in FY 10 and $ 2 million in FY 11.
Democrats at the State Capitol worked tirelessly to slash and burn cuts proposals presented by the Republicans, many of which are included in the so-called "alternative" budget proposal that was supported by Esty. For Emily's List to criticize all the hard work the Democrats did during that time is a profound disappointment.