Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has signed the fiscal year 2014/2015 state budget into law, which continues to invest in public education and job creation, and does it without any new taxes.
"This budget makes historic investments in growing jobs and improving our public schools," Governor Malloy said. "It makes the state's finances more transparent and honest by complying with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. It properly funds our state pension obligations, saving us billions over the next twenty years. This budget does all that, and contains no new taxes.
"Connecticut is making itself competitive again. It's making the critical investments needed to attract employers and spur growth."
Funding for towns and cities is maintained, and many municipalities will actually see a slight increase under the adopted budget. Governor Malloy explained that his administration worked with lawmakers to keep municipal aid as whole as possible so as to not pass the property tax burden to towns and cities.
In particular, the Governor said that the investments he is most proud of are the ones that continue efforts to reform the state's schools to ensure that students receive an education that prepares them for success in the workforce.
"At a time when it would have been easy to cut and run on education, we went in another direction and invested nearly half a billion dollars into our public schools, most of it going to chronically struggling districts," the Governor said. "Connecticut used to lead the world when it came to innovation -- we had more patents, more groundbreaking discoveries than anywhere else in the world. Somewhere along the way the world caught up. This is about to change."
He continued, "During the past two years, Connecticut has experienced the highest rate of private sector job growth over a two-year period since the late 1990s. It's progress, even if we still have a long way to go. But rest assured, we are moving our state forward."
Senate President Donald E. Williams (D-Brooklyn) said, "We have delivered a budget that is balanced, does not raise taxes and includes $2.6 billion in cuts. At the same time, we were able to protect funding for critical investments in education and help towns maintain services and hold the line on local property taxes."
"This budget reflects what the public expects -- no new taxes, no cuts to our cities and towns, and getting every possible Connecticut taxpayer dollar back from Washington," Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) said. "This budget also sets the stage for more efficient government at both the state and local level, which is critical to encouraging future economic growth."
"At every step, this budget is a responsible one that meets the needs of the state in difficult economic times," Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) said. "This budget helps working Connecticut's families by preserving the safety net, supporting education, and investing in training Connecticut's workers."
"This budget represents the priorities of Connecticut residents by investing in the public institutions and core services that we all rely on -- from public safety to our schools to local infrastructure projects, all while maintaining municipal aid at current levels so our towns do not have raise property taxes, and without imposing any new state taxes," House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, (D-Berlin, Southington) said.
"The new budget protects the state's key investments in economic development, public education, and social services, and restores funding for two notable features particularly important in the state's urban centers: school-based health centers and after-school programs," State Senator Toni N. Harp (D-New Haven), co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, said. "We overcame so many obstacles in preparing this budget, first and foremost eliminating a projected two-year deficit of nearly $1.9 billion without raising the income tax or sales tax, and preserved municipal aid programs to help cities and towns hold the line on local property taxes."
State Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford), co-chair of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, said, "This year's budget accomplishes a number of key goals for Connecticut taxpayers. It is fully balanced, and maintains current levels of state aid to cities and towns while also preserving funding for critical safety net and economic development programs. It does all of this without raising taxes, a key priority which Governor Malloy and I both shared, and I thank him for his leadership this year."
"In a difficult budget year, we worked very hard to keep our promise to fund our municipalities, thus avoiding property tax increases," State Representative Pat Widlitz (D-Guilford, Branford), co-chair of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, said. "Our significant investment in education will ensure the future of our children and help grow an educated work force. The investment in the University of Connecticut will enable us to be in the forefront of science, technology, engineering and math, while forging strong collaborative partnerships with the private sector. We also continued our commitment to clean water projects and, most importantly, embarked upon a strong energy efficiency course. The Finance Committee, our leadership, and the Governor's Office worked collaboratively to produce a budget that moves Connecticut forward."
The legislation is Public Act 13-184 -- An Act Concerning Expenditures and Revenue for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2015.