When legislators return to Hartford on Feb. 5 for the 2014 Legislative Session, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities wants them to focus on five things:
- supporting state aid to hometowns
- assisting struggling core communities
- fostering regional collaboration
- reforming state mandates
- enhancing safety within communities
These are the areas that will help the state continue on the path of recovery toward prosperity, the CCM says in its annual list of legislative priorities. Those areas of focus, announced Jan. 27, were arrived at in close consultation with its 156 member towns and cities.
The PDF embedded with this article has details on those five areas CCM identified.
“The depth of the gubernatorial and legislative commitment to towns, cities and regions is key to Connecticut’s successful economic recovery,” said Bill Finch, Mayor of Bridgeport and CCM President. “Healthy towns, cities and regions are where job creation and economic development occur.”
“CCM urges the Governor and the General Assembly to stay the right course and continue to avoid balancing the state budget on the backs of municipalities and their property taxpayers,” stated Ron Thomas, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for CCM. “Now is the time for the State to strengthen its commitment to residential and business property taxpayers by maintaining and expanding critical state aid and revenue sharing, laying the foundation for a world-class PreK-12 public education system and enacting meaningful mandates reform.”
Finch added that “a strengthened state-local partnership is essential in ensuring that an equitable and adequate public education is within the grasp of every student no matter where they live; poorer towns and cities have the resources to meet the public service needs of their residents and businesses without overly burdensome property tax rates; municipalities are not hobbled by unfunded and underfunded state mandates; and towns, cities and regions are provided with the financial, technical and statutory tools necessary to forge new service delivery and other cooperative ventures.”