Approps budget restores many health and human service cuts

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The budget approved by the Appropriations Committee yesterday restores many of the health and human services cuts in the Governor’s proposed budget. Long supported by advocates and financial analysts, the Appropriations Committee also proposed de-collapsing the massive Medicaid line item. The Committee’s budget separates out payments to hospitals and community health centers, giving more transparency to significant state spending but also limiting the Governor’s ability to make cuts without legislative approval. Cuts reversed, in part or fully, in the committee’s budget include hospitals, community health centers, school-based health centers, developmental disabilities, the CT Children’s Medicaid Center, Alzheimer’s respite care, and mental health and substance abuse. The bill maintains the Governor’s proposal to privatize 30 DDS group homes, but requires an evaluation of the impact. The bill also restores sorely needed independence to watchdog agencies by de-consolidating functions under the Office of Governmental Accountability. The Governor called the committee’s budget “incomplete” and promised to release a new proposal next week.