Lawmakers face budget shortfall in upcoming session - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers face budget shortfall in upcoming session

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

As lawmakers return to the State Capitol on Wednesday, they will once again be facing a budget shortfall.

Republicans are calling for serious changes, saying democrats are good at creating deficits and raising taxes.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has been pushing for a massive transportation overhaul, but there’s little consensus on how to pay for it.

When it comes to transportation, both parties agree that repairs need to be made.

Connecticut’s roads and bridges are old and need to be fixed.

Malloy has a 30-year plan to spend $1 billion, but paying for it could include raising gas and sales taxes, and tolls.

"Shame on him. Shame on him for actually thinking that the two highest tax increases in the state's history on his watch in five years wasn't enough,” said Republican State Rep. Themis Klarides.

Republicans have their own plan, which would spend substantially less and would come from bonding, or borrowing.

Malloy said that plan won’t accomplish much.

"The problem with their plan specifically is we need $66 billion to be safe in Connecticut. They came up with a plan that spends $37 billion, so they want a permanent state of lack of safety,” Malloy said.

A more pressing matter for lawmakers during this year’s session is more budget woes.

The state comptroller projects a $7 million deficit this year, and $500 million next year.

"We are in a death spiral of a magnitude this state has never seen, and the question is how are we going to get out of that debt spiral,” said Republican State Senator Len Fasano.

Some of the answers could come on Wednesday, when Malloy makes his State of the State Address.

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