canada africa partner reservation CT Lawmakers Hand Out Millions in Unused Federal Funds

CT Lawmakers Hand Out Millions in Unused Federal Funds

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After weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, state lawmakers are expected to vote Monday on reallocating hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to high-priority budget issues.

The four largest areas of funding are public higher education, child mental health services, municipal assistance and $50 million for nonprofits that provide state services through contracts that traditionally cost less than those of government employees.

The package includes more than $115 million for the University of Connecticut, including $68.8 million for “temporary support” for UConn and $48 million for “temporary support” for the UConn Health Center in Farmington, according to a copy of the bill previously published released. Monday morning.

The 350-page bill also calls for $128.8 million for the Connecticut State University system, which has been lobbying heavily for more funding for months.

In a highly unusual move, the Legislature is reopening the second year of the two-year state budget, which provides $26 billion to govern the state in the budget year that begins July 1. state received during the coronavirus pandemic from the American Rescue Plan Act, known in common parlance as ARPA.

Lawmakers plan to create a new “Stabilization Support and ARPA Replacement Fund” that would be managed by the state treasury, separate from other funds.

On children, the spending plan includes $18.8 million for Care4Kids for child care for low- and middle-income families, $10 million for children’s behavioral health and $7 million for urgent crisis centers.

House Speaker Matt Ritter, a Hartford Democrat, and others negotiated the package to redistribute federal funds.  It is shown here in the historic Hall of the House in Hartford.

Mark Mirko/Mark Mirko

House Speaker Matt Ritter, a Hartford Democrat, and others negotiated the package to redistribute federal funds. It is shown here in the historic Hall of the House in Hartford.

Municipal assistance

The spending includes $650,000 for climate initiatives, along with money for a wide range of projects.

These include $600,000 for fire hydrant and road improvements in Milford, $250,000 for the Clinton town beach, $200,000 for expansion of Charter Oak Park West in Manchester, $300,000 for improvements to pickleball courts and clubhouse at the Westwoods Recreation Complex in Farmington, $300,000 for football and soccer fields. in Shelton, $100,000 for Lighthouse Point Park and $50,000 for East Shore Park. The package also covers $400,000 for elevators at the Greenwich Library.

In addition to traditional municipal aid, which includes more than $2 billion annually for local schools, the package includes additional municipal aid of $12 million for Danbury, $7 million for Bridgeport, $5.5 million for Waterbury, $5 million for Norwalk, $4 million for New Britain, $2 million for New Britain. million for Stamford, and $1.5 million for New Haven.

Lawmakers plan to allocate $1.379 million for access to voting rights, $1 million for early voting and $1 million for legal representation in evictions of tenants, among other things.

Health initiatives

The package includes $3 million for Planned Parenthood, which House Speaker Matt Ritter of Hartford said would be included.

“I remain a loyal legislator,” Ritter told reporters at the Capitol on Friday.

In other health initiatives, the package calls for $800,000 for health care in schools, $200,000 for the Fair Haven Community Health Center in a low-income neighborhood in New Haven, $350,000 for the Cheshire Health District and $10,000 for water testing in the Branford District . East Shore District Health Department.

Overall, the state budget remains solid after years of deficits in the past, prompting the then government to make a decision. Budget Director Dannel P. Malloy said Connecticut was in a state of permanent budget crisis. He later apologized and said he was referring to a book.

“These may be the most shocking consensus revenue numbers we’ve seen in years,” Ritter told reporters at the Capitol. “Positive, yes. We are currently in good times. Yes, it’s (Wall Street) money, so we’ll have to keep talking about that in the future. When I hear the word deficit… folks, the state is in a very solid financial position.”

Despite spending hundreds of hours at public hearings and meetings in recent months on the state’s $26 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the budget will not be formally adjusted. One of the main problems is that lawmakers have little wiggle room, as the proposed budget is about $1 million below the mandatory spending cap, a small percentage of the overall budget.

Christopher Keating can be reached at [email protected]

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