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Connecticut Nonprofit Rally & Lobby Day
May 24, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Join Aspire at the capitol in Hartford on Wednesday, May 24, for Nonprofit Rally and Lobby Day, starting at 10 AM. Leaders from the Aspire community will be there at 9 AM to gather before going through security in the Legislative Office Building and proceed to the State Capitol South Lawn. See map for the meeting location (red X) and parking options. If arriving after 9 AM, proceed to the Capitol Building South Lawn and look for Aspire in purple shirts (Need a purple Aspire shirt? We’ll have one available for you). And please feel free to call or text Lisa Mierek, senior director of program operations, the day of the event to ensure you connect: (860) 780-4436.
Background: Connecticut’s legislature is developing the state’s budget for the next two years. Unfortunately, the budget proposal by the Appropriations Committee does not adequately fund services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
On May 1, Connecticut’s Office of Policy & Management and the Office of Fiscal Analysis reported that the state’s tax system is generating a surplus of almost $3 billion. Aspire and other service providers took more than their share of the burden during the lean years, losing 46 percent of their buying power to inflation.
In order for the budget to reflect the priorities important to our community, a 9% increase is needed. In a time of surplus, this is the moment to fund services fully.
Without additional funding, providers will be forced to reduce services to account for the inflation we have already experienced. Steps that some service providers are taking include closing programs, reducing the scope of services offered, and delaying much-needed innovations. Aspire is working hard to avoid such extreme measures. These outcomes are a disservice to people with disabilities, whose choices are shrinking and whose needs go unmet when no provider is available.
Cuts are also a disservice to the hardworking direct support professionals who do this essential work every day, who saw us through the pandemic, and who are the backbone of the system. We are already facing an unprecedented workforce shortage—funding that does not keep pace with costs is pushing the system to the brink.
If you can’t be there in person, contacting your legislators with your concerns is a great way to support a meaningful increase in funding. Legislators count every call, every email, and every visit from a constituent. Be counted! You can find your legislators and contact information here. Let them know the impact this funding makes in your life and the lives of the people we serve.