CROMWELL, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday highlighted his continued support for Connecticut’s municipalities today in remarks to the annual meeting of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST). Since taking office, the Governor has consistently supported municipal governments with additional funding for both education and general aid.
“In other states across the country, state governments have simply passed its problems along to cities and towns by cutting funding for vital services that people rely upon,” said Governor Malloy. “That is a path we have not gone down in Connecticut. By kicking the can down the road, other states have forced local government to raise property taxes. It’s a calculation that we cannot afford in Connecticut, and one that as a former mayor I would never prescribe for our state. The funding and other legislative items highlighted today represent our continued commitment to cities and towns across the state.”
In his first budget, Governor Malloy held cities and town harmless by increasing state funding of the Education Cost Sharing grant by $270 million – despite a $3.6 billion deficit – to make up for the loss of federal stimulus funding.
In the current budget, the Governor is proposing to increase aid to municipalities by almost $140 million. The funding covers a variety of municipal investments, including school security, roads and bridges and additional money for public schools. The Governor is also proposing to give town flexibility on property revaluations, so that property taxes don’t rise as the state begins its financial recovery.
“Recognizing that cuts in municipal aid would impose an untenable burden on the state’s property taxpayers, Governor Malloy has championed efforts to keep towns whole, despite challenging budget circumstances,” said Betsy Gara, Executive Director of COST. “In addition, under his leadership, the state has made critical investments in education, economic development and infrastructure – programs which are vital to Connecticut’s small towns and the state’s economy. We are honored, once again, to welcome Governor Malloy as our keynote speaker at COST’s Connecticut Town Meeting 2014”
Additionally, the Governor showcased one of his legislative priorities – the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which will receive an initial investment of $25 million to help companies modernize and grow, purchase equipment and develop new technologies, and provide access to training and specialized education for workers.
A key component of Governor Malloy’s proposal is to give priority to companies that locate in the 42 communities that are historic manufacturing hubs in Connecticut, such as New London, Griswold, Ansonia, Derby, Southington, Wethersfield, Sprague and Killingly. This provision is expected to have a positive impact on local economic development and help lower the high unemployment rates in some of the state’s most distressed communities.