Nonprofit Community Says Budget Delay Will Hurt Connecticut Residents
By Christine Stuart | June 16, 2017
HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut’s Community Nonprofit Alliance members, who provide services to some of the state’s neediest residents, are concerned about what happens with their contracts if legislative leaders and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy can’t approve a budget by the end of June.
The state spends about $1 billion a year on contracts with nonprofit providers who provide mental health, disability, and basic need services to thousands of Connecticut residents. In the past, failure to agree on a budget during the regular session has put funding for these organizations in jeopardy.
Funding was delayed for these nonprofit providers in 2003 and 2009, the last two times the General Assembly and the governor failed to finish a budget before June 30.
A recent survey of Alliance members found that cuts and delayed payments will destabilize the state’s health and human service delivery system and leave some of the state’s most vulnerable individuals without support.
At least 66 of its members responded to the survey, which found within two weeks at least 75 percent would have to access their cash reserves and 42 percent would pursue a line of credit to continue providing services. A reduction in payments would force 82 percent to start laying off staff and 77 percent would reduce services, according to the survey.
“People rely on vital community-based services every day, and those needs won’t change on July 1 if the budget talks are at a stalemate. Our members are struggling with how to keep doors open with reduced, or no funding, and what impact that will have on clients,” Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of The Alliance said. “Make no mistake, this will be a crisis.”
Following a meeting Tuesday, Senate Republican President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said his gut tells him that they will go beyond July 1 before they have a two-year budget, even if they continue conversations.
“How much past July 1? I don’t know,” Fasano said.
Malloy told legislative leaders Tuesday that he would release a set of principles that would help guide how he manages the state without a budget — an increasingly likely scenario.