Top Hospital and Business Groups Buy Ads to Sway Budget Talks - NBC Connecticut

Top Hospital and Business Groups Buy Ads to Sway Budget Talks

Two of the more powerful associations that lobby lawmakers are pulling out all of the stops when it comes to securing funding and trying to make their mark on spending. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015)

Two of the more powerful associations that lobby lawmakers are pulling out all of the stops when it comes to securing funding and trying to make their mark on spending.

The Connecticut Hospital Association and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association each bought ads on TV and radio respectively in recent weeks and months.

The CHA's ads are aimed at restoring about $190 million in funds, state and federal, the governor ordered cut earlier this year as a result of lower than expected state investment returns.

“The tax and the cuts affect everyone in Connecticut but the disproportionately impact the sick and the poor so we needed to give them a voice" said Jenniger Jackson, CEO of the CHA.

Malloy had defended the cuts by going on the offensive saying hospitals needed to spend their money on patients and services rather than exorbitant salaries for chief executives, many of which approach or exceed $1 million per year in total compensation.

Jackson said that argument misses the point.

“That’s not the issue. We’re talking about half a billion dollars in cuts and executive compensation is not the issue."

The CHA also filed a lawsuit this week challenging the provider tax that could bring in as much as $500 million per year in new revenue for the state budget.

On the business side, CBIA released radio ads calling for comprehensive budget solutions that could lead to real budget stability, rather than short-term fixes that have been approved in the past.

“What they’re concerned with is this never-ending cycle of deficits followed by tax increases and that when you make those investments you’re not going to get the return you expect because there’s going to be more tax increases coming down the road" said Joe Brennan, the President & CEO of CBIA.

Brennan said he and his members have been pleased to see long-term initiatives get proposed and approved by lawmakers and the governor.

“The governor’s second chance society initiative for instance. That can close a prison and get people out of the penal system that’s very very expensive. That’s the kind of thing we’re talking about.”

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