© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Connecticut Lawmakers Want More Money For Nonprofit Service Providers

Reno Beranger

The leaders of the Connecticut Appropriations Committee want to increase funding for nonprofit social service agencies that provide services to disabled and abused children, and people struggling with drug addiction.

Cathy Osten is the Senate co-chair of the Appropriations Committee. She said the coronavirus pandemic has shown that some of the people who work for the community-based agencies are so poorly paid that they themselves have to depend on state assistance programs.

“We criticize large commercial organizations that do this. But the state itself is requiring workers to receive food stamps to be successful. To receive heating assistance,” Osten said.

Toni Walker is the House co-chair of the committee. She said they’ve both committed to negotiate with Governor Ned Lamont and his budget office more funding for the nonprofits.

“To figure out, how do we do this, and we do this quickly because they are drowning like everybody else,” Walker said.

The state spends about $1.4 billion a year on the nonprofits. The Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, which represents the agencies, said its members would need about $460 million more in state funding a year to reverse the losses they’ve sustained over the past 13 years.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.