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My Left Nutmeg

Progressive group attacks budget proposed by Democrats at the State Capitol?

by: ctblogger

Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 16:12:19 PM EDT


(bumped to the top... - promoted by ctblogger)

UPDATE 07.24.12: Looks like the media is falling for this bold face lie...
A spokesperson for Emily's List said the Daily Kos is wrong - they are not referring to anything from 2009, but from 2011.

According to Jen Bluestein, spokesperson for Emily's List, "It refers to the 2011 budget, which was, as you know, really tough on middle class families in Connecticut - actually increasing their income taxes at a higher percentage than those paying the top rate. It also included a major sales tax increase, which we all know is the opposite of progressive taxation. Finally, it slashed a popular property tax credit that is available only to the middle class - if you make over $160,000 you're ineligible. His vote to increase his own salary and his decision to pay an aide more than the governor makes are other examples of priorities - facts that middle class families in Connecticut should know."


Simply put, this is bullshit...just take a look at the portion MARK IN BOLD their press release.
"Chris Donovan's 20 year record for Connecticut speaks for itself: exorbitant pay raises and the biggest tax hike in Connecticut history. Middle class families are paying the price," said Denise Feriozzi, Director of WOMEN VOTE! "Elizabeth Esty returned taxpayer money and is committed to responsible budgeting. We are confident that once voters learn Chris Donovan's record, they'll choose Elizabeth Esty to represent them in Congress."

Esty served ONE TERM as State Rep from 2008-2010. During her one term in office, Esty supported  an alternative budget that more in line with the slash and burn policies of Gov. Rowland-Rell and the Republicans at the State Capitol (read highlights within her the budget proposal below). In short, if passed, Esty's 2009 proposal directly targeted working families and the middle class while giving the rich a free pass.

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.

EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, today announced a new WOMEN VOTE! project in Connecticut's fifth congressional district. As the nationwide voter mobilization and education project of EMILY's List, WOMEN VOTE! will communicate with key primary voters about Chris Donovan's fiscal record in the state legislature.

The Connecticut WOMEN VOTE! program will target more than 26,000 Democratic primary voting women who are age 45 or older. The women will receive five pieces of direct mail highlighting Chris Donovan's record on taxes and raising his own pay. Three of the mailers will also showcase Elizabeth Esty's commitment to Connecticut taxpayers: returning 10% of her own salary and working towards responsible budgeting in the state legislature. The first mail will be sent on July 26th.  

"Chris Donovan's 20 year record for Connecticut speaks for itself: exorbitant pay raises and the biggest tax hike in Connecticut history. Middle class families are paying the price," said Denise Feriozzi, Director of WOMEN VOTE! "Elizabeth Esty returned taxpayer money and is committed to responsible budgeting. We are confident that once voters learn Chris Donovan's record, they'll choose Elizabeth Esty to represent them in Congress."


I try my best to stay out of the mix and not pick sides when it comes to primaries but this rant from Emily's List slamming the Democrats at the State Capitol who pushed back against the outrageous the "alternative" budget Esty supported, which looked like a template from Minority Leader Larry Cafero, is complete nonsense.

Lets take a look at the "responsible budgeting" Esty supported and how that would translate helping out the middle class and working families.

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.

Judicial Department

● Eliminate funding to expand Family Support Centers, with a reduction of $ 1 million in FY 10 and $ 2 million in FY 11.

I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

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.

UPDATE: Here's a listing of all the Democrats Emily's List insulted (here and here).

ctblogger :: Progressive group attacks budget proposed by Democrats at the State Capitol?
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