Statement from Gian-Carl Casa, President & CEO of CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, on the ongoing state budget discussions:
“The budget agreement that appears to be under discussion is inadequate to pay for the life-saving and life-sustaining services that are provided every day, in every city and town across the state.
“We have not seen details. It has been reported the increase being discussed is a 2.5 percent increase in the first year and the same funding provided again in the second year. It may include some previously-appropriated ARPA money. It isn’t even clear that all of the funding will be a cost-of-living increase.
“While we appreciate that the budget proposals this year have increased funding from zero to 1 percent to 2.5 percent, inflation for nonprofits has been at 16 percent over the past two years. A 2.5 percent increase will be, in effect, a funding cut.
“We are asking for the state to pay for the cost of providing the services that nonprofits are delivering every day. Day and residential services for people with developmental disabilities. Substance abuse and mental health treatment. Support services for people leaving our prisons. Shelters for people who are homeless or experiencing domestic violence.
“Without the funding nonprofits need, the crisis created by more than a decade of underfunding will only worsen. Providers will struggle to find staff, programs will continue to close, waiting lists will grow and people won’t get the help they need.
“Budgets are a statement of priority and a choice, in this case made in the context of a $3 billion surplus.
We respectfully ask that before adoption of a budget, that funding be significantly increased for those who depend on and those who work for community nonprofits.
“If not now, when the state has the largest surplus and Rainy Day Fund in history, when?”