(Hartford, CT) – As the Governor and legislative leaders meet today to negotiate a final state budget, including an 8 percent increase in funding for struggling community nonprofits who contract with the state, the leader of the nonprofit providers warned that any reduction in that amount will have a dangerous impact on the state’s safety net.
Gian Carl Casa, President & CEO of CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, said with the state’s surplus dollars at a historic high, failure to fund services for the state’s most vulnerable citizens is unconscionable considering the work nonprofits continue to provide across the state, seven days a week, 24-hours a day, despite lack of funding. The funding increase should at the very least keep up with inflation, estimated this year to be 8 percent.
“A budget with $7 billion in the bank shouldn’t be balanced on the backs of people who depend on services provided by nonprofits – mental health, substance abuse, intellectual/development disabilities, shelters, halfway houses for people leaving incarceration and much more.” Casa said.
Casa added, “Who would tell vulnerable people that with $7 billion in surplus and in the context of other significant spending increases there wasn’t enough for them to even keep up with inflation? Who would tell the 115,000 nonprofit employees, who worked for low wages throughout the pandemic, that there isn’t enough to keep them even with inflation?”
Casa pointed out that in a radio interview this morning, one legislative leader said nonprofits won’t get what they want in the budget, but will get “something.”
“It’s not what nonprofits want, it’s what vulnerable people need,” Casa said. “Budgets are statements of priority. If funding programs for Connecticut’s vulnerable population isn’t a priority when the state is flush with funds, when will it be? We urge the Governor and lawmakers to support the 8 percent increase for all nonprofit providers. If not now, when?”