Statement from Gian-Carl Casa, President & CEO of CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, on the FY24-25 budget agreement released today:

“While the full detail of the budget agreement is unclear, it appears that the bulk of the funding will be earmarked for providers of services for people with developmental disabilities for a strike settlement, while others – including providers of mental health and addiction services, programs for people leaving prison – will get a 2.5 percent increase.

“We appreciate that the levels of funding are higher than the 0 percent and 1 percent in earlier versions of the budget.  We thank those who fought for more.

“But let’s be clear. The state’s surplus is $3 billion. A 2.5 percent increase is insufficient and the state has the ability to do more for hundreds of community nonprofits and the half-million people they serve.

“This budget will hurt residential and outpatient addiction and mental health programs, worsen the workforce crisis, force the closing of programs, and create longer waiting lists. We’ve warned of this for months. None of this should be a surprise.

“This isn’t an issue of nonprofits not getting what they want in the state budget; it’s an issue of not getting what they need. Nobody wants addiction, homelessness, adults and children with mental health problems, or people lacking the skills to stay out of prison, but they are facts of life that financially-strapped nonprofits struggle to address every day. The nonprofit sector’s ability to do so has been seriously impaired by decades of underfunding, inflation, covid and a workforce shortage.

“Difficult as it was, providers understood when the state had limited funds and was cutting a range of programs. They cannot understand this budget choice today.

“Community nonprofits ask, yet again, if not now, when?”