(Hartford, CT) – CT Community Nonprofit Alliance (The Alliance), which represents 298 providers of behavioral health programs, services for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and criminal justice programs, today thanked the leaders of the state House and Senate for approving, an FY23 state budget that includes desperately-needed funding increases.
The $24 billion budget adjustment for FY23, which Governor Lamont is expected to sign, includes $220.4 million in new money for providers. The increase comes after a $110.15 million increase in the FY22 budget, and before that, more than a decade of flat funding that left nonprofits $460 million behind.
“Legislative leadership, and all lawmakers who have spoken up for community-based nonprofits throughout deliberations heard our concerns and prioritized those needs,” Alliance President & CEO Gian-Carl Casa said. “After more than a decade of underfunding, nonprofits are grateful that lawmakers and the Governor are standing with community providers and the people who depend on the vital services they deliver.”
The three co-chairs of the Alliance’s Public Policy Committee, which has led the advocacy effort to increase funding, also thanked lawmakers and the Governor.
Fernando Muñiz, CEO of Community Solutions, which provides services to juveniles and adults who are involved with the criminal justice system, said the increase in funding will directly impact clients. “A decade of underfunding had already taxed our ability to serve clients; the coronavirus pandemic made helping people re-enter society significantly more difficult. The funding increases will help people across the state find housing and jobs, and successfully transition out of the criminal justice system, an outcome that is good for them and for the community.”
Heather Gates, President & CEO of Community Health Resources, said she deeply appreciates funding increase agreed to by legislative leaders and Governor Lamont that will help provide life-saving treatments for people of all ages from opiate addictions to school-based behavioral health services for children and teens.
“Over the last two years, the opioid use crisis, child mental health crisis and demand for emergency behavioral health services increased at historic rates. No doubt, increased funding will help to address these pressing issues,” Gates said.
Andrea Ferrucci, Vice President of Mosaic, said after years of underfunding, providers were already stretching limited dollars for services for people with developmental and behavioral disabilities. When the pandemic hit, the situation became dire for staff and clients, who continue to need care 24/7.
“The needs of the people we serve don’t go away with budget cuts and pandemics, but the services we provide can get curtailed. This new funding will have a direct impact on our clients. We are extremely grateful for the leadership of the Appropriations Chairs, Senator Cathy Osten, Rep. Toni Walker and all of the members who supported our budget request,” Ferrucci said.