May 20, 2024

Nonprofits rally at Capitol for more funding – NBC Connecticut

Nonprofit service providers rallied at the Capitol Wednesday to push for more funding next fiscal year.

Democrats in the legislature say nonprofits are among their priorities, but they’re still negotiating how to spend leftover funds next year.

Nonprofits say they’ve been underfunded for years and need additional funding to continue serving their clients.  

Tracie Bernardi Guzman said she wouldn’t be able to turn her life around after going to prison without help from Community Partners in Action.

“They helped me get my drivers license at 44 or 45 years old for the first,” Guzman, now a case worker with the organization, said. “They helped me with so much, I had a house fire, they helped me then.”

Several lawmakers from both parties joined the rally to voice their support in front of an estimated 500 workers and clients.

“We need to stop funding on the back end and fund on the front end to make sure workers are treated with respect,” Sen. Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) said.

A spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont said the governor, too, supports nonprofits. He also noted, though, that the current two-year budget includes an additional $103 million each year when compared to the prior budget.

“The administration is committed to continuing this support for the state’s nonprofits,” spokesman David Bednarz said.

House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said his caucus wants to help nonprofits, it just takes more than one session to deliver everything they’re seeking.  

“We hear you, and that’s in our budget adjustment. We’ll provide more money and that’s why we’ll come back next year and keep fighting,” Ritter said.

Ritter also had an optimistic view of recent budget talks with Lamont, saying he thinks lawmakers could vote on a spending deal of between $300 million and $400 million by the end of next week.

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