On July 10, Rep. Jason Rojas of the 9th District of the Connecticut General Assembly met with dozens of SEIU members to talk about what is and is not on the table for the budget special session and how we get to a budget that is fair and equitable for all and does not only favor the powerful and well-connected. This was the first of many Budget Accountability Forum that the State Council is organizing in various districts throughout the summer.
Members who predominately live in East Hartford and Manchester asked Rep. Rojas questions on a broad array of topics, including raising taxes on the wealthy, “insourcing,” regional consolidation, the SEBAC agreement, the Fight for $15, and proposed cuts to HUSKY, home care, and child care.
It came at a critical time.
Connecticut is facing an estimated deficit of $5 billion over the next two years.
The regular legislative session ended on June 7, and the fiscal year for the state ended on June 30, but no budget was passed by the General Assembly by either date. Since there is no budget to set how the state raises revenue and spends money, the Governor has the temporary authority to manage the state’s finances. He can’t raise new taxes, but he can institute some cuts to make sure the state doesn’t spend more than it takes in until a new budget can be passed.
The leaders continue to meet, and the House may be voting on a budget plan as soon as July 18.
That’s why we’re creating these opportunities for future Budget Accountability Forums! You can ask your representatives how we overcome our challenges and deliver a budget that’s truly balanced – not just in dollars and cents but balanced, just, and equitable in its policies and in how it treats all of the state’s residents.
We believe the budget should not ask less of the powerful interests who have carved out loopholes in the tax code than it does of those residents struggling to escape poverty, or of the middle-class families worried about their future.