CT21 Reforms Could Save Millions

The Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century is offering a new analysis of its previous policy reform suggestions as the legislature grapples with the current budget crisis. Updated data shows there is still the potential to reduce costs by up to $2 billion, over the next five years, if previously proposed reforms from CT21 are fully implemented across state government.

As the Office of Policy and Management pointed out in March of 2016, many of CT21’s proposals are already in various stages of implementation, but more work needs to be done. Full reports from CT21 can be found on the Institute’s website at www.ct21.org, but several sections of the state budget stand out as savings rich areas. They include:

Non-profit Social Service Providers – The latest analysis shows there is still room for up to $1.2 billion in savings, over the next five years, if state government contracts with private providers to deliver services currently managed by state government.

Long-Term Care – Up to $650 million can be saved between now and 2025 if the state increased the number of long-term care clients receiving care in community based settings as opposed to larger care facilities.

Corrections – An additional $300 million in savings is achievable by 2020 if the state continues on its current path toward reducing the prison population.

Pension Reform – CT21 has identified a number of policy options that would reduce the cost of the state’s pension system. The projected dollar savings depends largely on which options are put in place and how quickly, but those options include; increasing the retirement age, end early retirement plans, implement a defined contribution plan for all new employees and delay medical coverage for early retirees.

Technology – A recent self-assessment of the state’s technology capabilities includes strong recommendations to create an IT strategy as a catalyst to strengthen connectivity and service delivery throughout state government. The roadmap includes recommendations to boost efficiency, agility and cost-effectiveness, leverage cloud computing to improve the usage of “big data,” and apply the state’s role as an analyst, procurer, and manager of technology resources to enhance Connecticut’s overall economic competitiveness.

Local Government – As much as $80 million a year could be saved by consolidating and sharing non-instructional education expenses—such as administration, support services, plant operation and maintenance, and transportation—across school districts. Another $5 to $10 million can be saved annually by sharing assessment services. Greater savings and efficiencies can be reached if municipalities remove the barriers to collaboration that exist between, and within, the state’s 169 municipalities.

These policy reform suggestions are consistent with an overall approach to the budget CT21 has been promoting since the group’s inception. Connecticut state government leaders must prioritize spending based on available revenue which requires state government to spend within its means. This approach requires constant review of current policies and spending in a never-ending search for the most efficient means to deliver services.

CT21 recognizes these proposals will not solve the current budget crisis, but we believe if fully implemented, they would reduce the size of the problem and help mitigate potential future shortfalls.