COMMUNITY SERVICES ARE ESSENTIAL AND NECESSARY!
Connecticut not-for-profits work to solve some of the state’s biggest challenges through necessary and essential services to our most vulnerable populations. The Kennedy Center, soon celebrating its 68th anniversary, is a vital part of this statewide impact.
The Kennedy Center serves more than 2,400 individuals each year and employs more than 750 people in the region —making the organization the third-largest employer in the Town of Trumbull. Like other not-for-profit community service providers, The Kennedy Center supports residents with some of the greatest needs, both efficiently and effectively, so government doesn’t have to.
After years of cuts and revenue stagnation from state rate reimbursements, coupled with our fixed cost increases in doing business, The Kennedy Center is at a point in choosing which services to discontinue and therefore which vulnerable people we can no longer support.
Cutting and shuttering isn’t the answer.
With growing and changing needs of those served, the state must make a commitment to keeping economic challenges from falling at the feet of not-for-profits. This is why we need Legislative support in three key areas.
The Kennedy Center’s 2019 Legislative Priorities:
- Make not-for-profit community service providers, like The Kennedy Center, a fixed cost in the state budget.
- Make community service providers’ whole by paying for the true cost of services rendered. For too long, not-for-profits have been asked to provide state-contracted services without full reimbursement.
- Endorse the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance’s amendment to S.B. 928, protecting tax-exempt not-for-profits from wrongful property tax assessment.
Legislative support in these crucial areas gives The Kennedy Center, and other community not-for-profits, the opportunity to thrive and grow.
Legislative Priority Discussion Topics
Make Community service providers a fixed cost in the budget:
- Continued budget cuts will have a devastating impact on service delivery and will prevent the innovation that can move Connecticut forward.
- Because the community service delivery system has not been treated as a fixed cost by the State of Connecticut in its budget responsibilities, the ability to serve the most vulnerable in our communities is diminished.
- Community not-for-profits are crucial economic drivers and innovators in the state, employing 14% of Connecticut’s workforce.
Make us whole:
- After years of cuts and revenue stagnation from state rate reimbursements, coupled with fixed cost increases in doing business, The Kennedy Center and other community service providers are at a point in choosing which services to discontinue and, therefore, which vulnerable people we can no longer support
- The Kennedy Center is $125,000 short of its payroll obligations because DDS did not cover 100% of identified payroll needs. This shortfall is not in keeping with Legislative intent to address the staffing crisis among community service providers.
- Rate reimbursement stagnation and budgetary cuts for more than a decade have resulted in The Kennedy Center and other community service organizations subsidizing the state’s obligation through fundraising and philanthropic efforts.
Support an amendment to S.B. 928:
- This bill is currently before the Planning and Development Committee.
- The Kennedy Center and other 501(c)(3) not-for-profits have noticed an alarming trend in the past few years as some municipalities have started to levy taxes on residential properties and group homes that exist to serve those in need.
- This incorrect and damaging interpretation of the law can be fixed through the proposed amendment to S.B. 928: An Act Concerning the Recovery of Attorney’s Fees in Actions for Wrongful Property Tax Assessment.
- The Kennedy Center was the first in the state to open a group home, back in 1964. Today, The Kennedy Center operates 16 group homes, serving 91 individuals in 8 cities and towns.
- Municipal taxes are now being levied on seven of those homes. The Kennedy Center’s 2019 bill totals more than $77,000. That’s $77,000 diverted away from 41 men and women living in those homes, each with growing and diverse needs.
Join us by contacting your local legislator today
You can use the prepared letter or make changes. It is helpful to ask your legislators to fund the services you need. Tell them why you need those services and what life would be like without them. Include pictures of your loved one with I/DD and your family to put a human face to the cuts.
Questions? Please feel free to contact: Rick Sebastian, President & CEO 203.365.8522, ext. 2062 or email or Kate Czaplinski, Director of Development and Communications at 203.365.8522, ext. 2015 or email.