Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy released a revised budget proposal, which looks to make some painful spending cuts and reduce the state workforce by 2,500.
On Monday, Eyewitness News sat down exclusively with the governor to talk about his plan to balance the budget.
He said it isn’t political, and it may not be popular, but it is the right thing to do for the state.
"What I'm saying is we have to get a budget done,” Malloy said.
He has encouraged others to give their input for how to get rid of the $900 million shortfall, but so far that hasn’t happened.
"I know democrats and republicans in the legislature want to talk about that budget but it's very difficult to have a discussion when some folks who aren't putting up their own budget that would bring the state in balance,” Malloy said.
His proposal also calls for reducing the state’s workforce, and nearly 2,000 could be layoffs. Hundreds have already received pink slips.
"It's not their fault but it's a $900 million issue -- only about 25 percent of that will be represented in worker layoffs. There's a lot of other things we have to do to get the budget in balance,” Malloy said.
The proposal does not include raising taxes. Malloy emphasized the importance of closing the deficit through other means.
"Good tax policy is a tool. It's not the only tool but it is a tool in economic development,” Malloy said.
In the new economic reality, the governor said families don’t live beyond their means, and neither can the state.
"You have to spend wisely, you have to invest wisely...you should never plan on spending more than you can bring in,” Malloy said.
The governor made it clear that it cannot be “business as usual" to get rid of the deficit he inherited when he took office in 2011. The budget will need to be voted on and passed in less than three weeks, by May 4.
Malloy is expected to meet with all legislative leaders on Tuesday to discuss the next steps.
In a statement on Monday, Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey said "The legislature is developing a budget that will be based on the most accurate information available from April revenue forecasts. In the meantime, however, his budget outline reads more like his public enemies list than a plan for Connecticut’s future. Hospitals, smaller towns, property tax reform, and critical social services are all dramatically slashed under the governor’s plan, all while insisting he be granted broad block grant authority to unilaterally cut further without any public scrutiny or legislative oversight. His proposal isn’t feasible, would never get enough votes from either side of the aisle to pass, and it offers no real basis for productive negotiations.
What happens next is that, as the actual budget numbers become clearer, the legislature will vote on, and send to the governor, a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that is balanced and represents more than a personal hit list. I welcome our Republican colleagues to work with us to help make sure everyone’s voices are heard, and to ensure that what the legislature adopts becomes law.”
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