GOP legislators skewer Malloy on funding to hospital

Sen. Henri Martin, Rep. Cara Pavalock, and Rep. Whit Betts

Sen. Henri Martin, Rep. Cara Pavalock, and Rep. Whit Betts

Calling the Malloy administration’s decision to break its promise to Bristol Hospital and withhold state payments “outrageous,” a press release from Bristol Republican state lawmakers said the local representatives are urging the public to call the governor and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to express their concerns.

“This broken promise could lead to significant layoffs at Bristol Hospital,” state Sen. Henri Martin (R-Bristol) said in the press release. “It’s time for greater Bristol residents and all who value the services Bristol Hospital provides – to light up the phones of the decision-makers. We need you to let them hear you.”

“This recent action by the governor and his administration could not be a more clear example of why taxpayers have a deep mistrust in their state government,” state Rep. Whit Betts (R-Bristol, Plymouth) said, according to the press release. “Ensuring the public health and well-being of the people of Connecticut is a core function of state government, yet the actions by this administration and the majority party show that their priorities lay elsewhere. I continue to hear from my constituents that they are fed up with their government putting those most in need of help – the sick and infirmed, the elderly, and the disabled, at risk. Now’s the time to pick up the phone and let the governor and the majority party Democrats know how important your community hospitals, including Bristol Hospital, are to you.”

“I am incredibly concerned for Bristol Hospital and all of our community hospitals across the state,” state Rep. Cara Pavalock (R-Bristol) said, according to the press release. “Due to the continued reckless spending and irresponsible fiscal policies on the part of the governor and the majority-party, our hospitals, residents and businesses continue to suffer because of ongoing, growing deficits in our state budget. What I find appalling is that with every so-called budget ‘fix,’ the governor and his administration immediately run to our community hospitals as a check book for fixing our fiscal woes at the expense of the health and well-being of our residents, and at the risk of potentially closing life-saving and/or community programs, and losing jobs as a result. The people of Bristol and the state of Connecticut deserve better. I encourage all residents to make their voices heard, loud and clear.”

The release said Gov. Dannel Malloy can be reached at 860 566-4840, House Democrats can be reached at (860)240-8585, Senate Democrats can be reached at (860)240-8600

Last week, the release said, Bristol lawmakers joined with Bristol Hospital officials to testify in favor of legislation to ease tax burdens on small community hospitals.

“Small community hospitals have taken a large financial hit over the last few years, and I believe that it is our responsibility as legislators to do all that we can to protect and provide for them moving forward,” Martin said in the press release. “This proposed bill allows for the continued fiscal health of the state’s small hospitals by exempting hospitals that qualify for the small hospital pool from the current hospital tax program. When it comes to hospital finance, this bill provides much needed fiscal relief to small community hospitals. In addition, similar to what the business community has been looking for in Connecticut for years, this bill will provide predictability and stability that will allow Bristol Hospital to grow, continue to be a major economic engine within the greater Bristol region, and will allow them the ability to continue to provide a high quality care.”

“I believe that we are now at a breaking point for our community hospitals,” Betts added in the press release. “I strongly support the exemption of small hospitals from the hospital tax. We should not treat our community hospitals as ATM machines to fund state government. Bristol Hospital is our second largest employer. Common sense dictates that the legislature should be supporting policies which allow people to keep their jobs and allow hospitals the opportunity to invest in their facilities and equipment to ensure the highest quality care for all.”