Despite Union Concessions Agreement, Budget Uncertainty and Threats to Programs Persist

After months of negotiations, unionized state employees voted to ratify a concessions deal estimated to save the state $1.57 billion over two years, as announced Tuesday morning by the State Employees Bargain Agent Coalition (SEBAC). The concession package, which was negotiated by the administration of Governor Malloy over the course of more than six months, includes a three-year wage freeze, three furlough days and the escalation of employee contributions to health and pension benefits, among other concessions. However, even as a press release from the Governor’s office praised the cooperation of state workers in approving the deal, the future of Connecticut’s budget remains uncertain while some of the state’s essential programs are in jeopardy of being eliminated. Here’s why the concessions agreement does not signal an end to Connecticut’s budget crisis:

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Earn Benefits Online: Seeking Partners for an Awesome Tool to Screen and Enroll Clients for Benefits

EarnBenefits Online (EBO) is an easy access web-based tool that allows staff to screen individuals for eligibility for benefits and then populates relevant assistance applications. This greatly simplifies the application process, increasing the participation rate, and facilitating access to the social safety net.    This, in turn, stabilizes the lives of clients and enables them to advance financially. 


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Update: Care4Kids Slots Continue to Decrease

From May 2016 to May 2017, Connecticut continued to lose child care slots for low-income families and children, with more than 5,100 slots lost to cut backs in just one year. Use this interactive map to explore how many slots for Care4Kids were lost in your town and around the state. As this map shows, losses were felt across the state, with some communities harder hit than others as available child care slots continue to dwindle. 

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Budget Update: House Democrats Release Their Own Budget Proposal

The fiscal year ends tomorrow, and Connecticut’s budget situation remains uncertain. Yesterday, all four caucuses and the Governor made statements on Connecticut’s budget. The House Democrats released their own two-year budget proposal, which they would like the General Assembly to hold a vote for on July 18th. Both the House and Senate Republicans want their 2-year budget proposals to be voted on (learn more about those proposals here), and both parties in the Senate stated that they would like to pass a 3-month temporary budget in order to prevent the state from being run unilaterally by Governor Malloy’s executive order (learn more about what a 3-month budget or Governor Malloy’s executive order could look like here). Keep reading to learn more about the House Democrats’ newest budget proposal.

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State Budget Update: What Governor Malloy's Two Proposals Would Look Like

Earlier this month, the legislative session closed without passing a budget. This Saturday, the fiscal year ends and, unless the legislature is able to agree upon and pass a budget, Connecticut will be run by Governor Malloy’s executive order. Governor Malloy has stated that he will not sign any of the budgets the Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate proposed, as the Republican budget relies larger concessions from the unions than the Governor has negotiated and the Democratic budget “leads with revenue” in the Governor’s view. (Read more about the Democrats’ and Republicans’ proposed budgets here).  Yesterday, Governor Malloy released two options for how he will run the state without the legislature passing their own biennial budget: the Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan, which can be enacted without approval of the General Assembly, and a quarterly Mini Budget Resource Allocation Plan, which would need to be passed by the General Assembly. This leaves the legislature with few options. They can create and pass one of they budgets they have already presented (which may be vetoed by the governor), create and pass a new budget, pass continuing resolutions, adopt the Governor’s mini budget, or allow the Governor’s to run the state through his Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about these budget options. 

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Care4Kids Slots Continue to Decrease

Between August and April, Connecticut lost more than 6,300 child care slots for low-income families and their children. This interactive map will show you how your town fared in the cut backs! Through the map, you can determine how many slots your town lost in total and by age group. 




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Our Partners at CFED Have a New Name!

Our partners and friends at CFED have a new name! On June 19, the Corporation for Enterprise Development became Prosperity Now. The name, along with a new website and refreshed brand, is broad enough to encompass all the great work they do, but simple enough to be instantly understandable.


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Annie E. Casey National Data Book Release: Solid Gains in Health, Education Require Continued Investment Amid Discussion of Budget Cuts

Today, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released their 2017 Kids Count Data Book. The data book ranks each state's child well-being based upon 16 indicators in four categories: economics, education, health, and family and community. Overall, Connecticut ranked sixth among the states in child well-being, 17th in economic well-being, fourth in education, third in health, and ninth in family and community. Keep reading to learn more about the report. Keep reading to learn more about the data book's release.



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Legislative Session Recap

Last night, the legislative session concluded without passing a budget, meaning we will be going into special session in the coming weeks. This session has been particularly contentious, with an even split of Democrats and Republicans in the senate, a small Democratic majority in the house, and a $5 billion deficit in the state’s budget, resulting in few bills and no state budget passing into law.  Currently, Governor Malloy, the Senate and House Democrats, the Senate GOP, and the House GOP have released budgets, all of which, if implemented, could result in cuts to crucial programs. Keep reading to learn more about what happened this session and what to look out for in the coming weeks.  

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Apply to be a Youth Money School VISTA!

CAHS is looking for a new Youth Money School VISTA!

The Youth Money School (YMS) VISTA will work with schools & nonprofits to help youth & young adults form better money habits, increase their financial knowledge, & improve their financial capability. The VISTA will recruit new volunteers to serve as financial educators, identify community partners who work with youth & young adults, train volunteers to utilize the YMS curriculum, & work closely with community partners to support the development & sustainability of the YMS. Other key responsibilities include: integrate efforts with CAHS' CT Money School financial education sites, equip volunteers & staff to lead the program beyond duration of VISTA placement, work with an advisory council consisting of service beneficiaries to guide the program's approach, track youth progress through the workshops, facilitate YMS marketing & outreach strategy, develop evaluation tools to provide guidance around best practices of YMS, & produce handbook on how to run YMS.


Learn more and apply here!

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