Connecticut Education Association StatementSeptember 18, 2017
CEA Calls on Legislators to Convene Immediately to Create a Real Bipartisan Budget
Outlines plans for success, urges legislators to avoid mistakes of the past
Today, Governor Malloy reaffirmed his decision to veto the budget that passed this weekend. CEA agrees that a better bi-partisan budget is needed for Connecticut, and is calling on legislators to convene immediately to craft a real bipartisan budget that works for all of us and invests in public education.
In order to move Connecticut forward, a real bipartisan budget must:
- Eliminate waste and inefficiencies in state programs and services.
- Support critical services such as education, public safety, transportation, and services for children, the elderly, and those in need. Preserve the state's strengths, including a high-quality education system for K-12 and college.
- Institute real tax reform that improves the reliability of the state's revenue streams in line with the 21st century economy. Close tax loopholes and unnecessary tax subsidies.
- Honor the rights of workers and families.
- Reject unnecessary and political policy changes.
Both the Republican budget that passed last weekend and the proposed Democratic budget put our public schools and Connecticut's future at risk. Legislators must not repeat the mistakes of the past and must reject the bad proposals brought forth in earlier budget plans.
Major mistakes of the Republican budget:
- Applying a $1,500 per person tax on teachers (on average); undermining basic collective bargaining rights; underfunding critical support for urban areas; eliminating the minimum budget requirement for municipal education support; ending the Clean Elections Program; and adding too many other unnecessary and political policy changes.
- Reliance on unlikely or impossible revenue, such as banking "savings" in the next two years based on additional labor concessions that cannot begin to occur until 2027, instead of pursuing real tax reform that improves the reliability of the state's revenue streams in line with the 21st century economy.
- Destructive cuts to state colleges and universities that will result in diminished workforce development and career-ready employees, skyrocketing tuition for students, flight of students to other states, closure of campuses, or all of the above.
Major mistakes of the Democratic budget:
- The insistence on an unwise and destructive shift of state responsibility for teacher retirement to the municipalities, resulting in a cost shift to towns of $279 million over the biennium.
- Reliance on a patchwork of nuisance taxes instead of real tax reform that improves the reliability of the state's revenue streams in line with the 21st century economy.
- Addition of too many unnecessary and political policy changes—bills that did not pass during the regular session that were inserted into the budget documents.
"This is an opportunity for legislators on both sides of the aisle to come together and develop a budget plan that works for all of us and invests in our public schools," said CEA President Sheila Cohen. "Legislators must act immediately. Our students, teachers, families, and communities deserve nothing less."
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.