HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Following are highlights of a bipartisan plan approved Wednesday night by the General Assembly to help close the $365 million deficit in Connecticut’s current $20 billion state budget, which ends June 30. (Gov. Dannel P. Malloy already imposed $170 million in cuts, using his executive powers, which netted out to $108.5 million after lost federal reimbursements were taken into account.)
— Reduces by $90 million over the next six months (for a total of $103 million with Malloy’s earlier reduction) state payments to hospitals to cover uninsured patients and certain Medicaid costs.
— Reduces reimbursement rate paid for hospice services for residents in long-term care facilities.
— Limits chiropractic services available under the Medicaid program to only those required by federal law.
— Transfers remaining balances in various accounts, such as $2.2 million from the boating account, $2.4 million from the fuel oil conservation account, $4.7 million from the school bus safety belt account, and $2 million from the statewide marketing account.
— Reduces the dispensing fee paid to pharmacies from $2 to $1.70 for prescription assistance programs such as Medicaid.
— Retains the 1 percent cost of living increase to private, nonprofit agencies that provide state services, such as group homes and mental health services.
— Allows stretcher vans to provide non-emergency medical transportation to individuals who are medically stable and don’t require medical attention but must lie flat while being transported.
— Eliminates the practice of providing payments for longevity on the job to certain non-union state employees on or after April 1, 2013. The dollar amount of the annual payment will be included in the affected employee’s base annual salary as of July 1, 2013.
— Authorizes $10 million in bonding to cover $10 million in spending from the state’s Stem Cell Research Fund.
— Allows towns, in light of the Newtown school shooting, to use state capital improvement grant funds for security systems in buildings, including schools.
— Requires the State Board of Education to shorten the school year for the town of Newtown, should its school board request it.
Source: Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Fiscal Analysis