Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says "everything has to be on the table" when he and state legislators negotiate a new budget over the coming months that attempts to address Connecticut's latest deficit challenges.
But the Democrat stressed to reporters Friday that he's not pushing for higher taxes, even though he didn't rule them out. Malloy says he's likely the most fiscally conservative governor the Connecticut press corps has covered.
The governor will unveil a proposed two-year budget next month. During his State of the State address Wednesday, he said he'll propose additional spending cuts and changes to the state education aid formula for cities and towns.
"I hope we can work on a bi-partisan basis," Malloy said. "I have encouraged that to happen."
Also Malloy says his administration has been meeting with state employee unions about possible concessions.
"Governors and legislators didn't fund the pension obligations, so the budget I have to present will have $360 million for next year, which has to be paid and that's happened to be me every biennium," Malloy said.
According to Malloy, state government is smaller and there are 5,000 fewer state employees. There are more republican lawmakers AND they will have a stronger voice.
Newly elected state Rep Brian Ohler (R-North Canaan) said he knows there will be a challenges.
"We need to get back to the drawing board and make sure the budget we write and pass is not only sustainable but good at the end of the year,” Ohler said.
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