Connecticut Democratic lawmakers released a revised state budget proposal on Tuesday, which has no increase in income taxes.
Governor Dannel Malloy released on Monday a revised two-year budget that cuts aid by more than $350 million to a number of cities and towns in Connecticut. Some fear the governor's latest round of cuts will be a disaster for small towns.
Malloy made changes to his initial budget proposal to cover a larger than projected budget deficit forecast to be more than $2 billion.
The Democratic budget proposal includes revenue from recreational marijuana, tolls and casinos. There would be no increases in corporate teaxes.
“The proposal offered by Democrats in the Senate and House protects our social safety net and invests in our workforce while implementing important regionalism strategies to save taxpayers $100 million. As Democrats and Republicans return to the negotiating table, it is paramount that we pursue structural reforms so that we can stabilize our budget," Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington) said this revised proposal "is a fiscally responsible blueprint that recognizes the reality of the need for a more efficient state government.
“We look forward to discussing this approach to our budget challenge with the Governor and Republicans, and considering everyone’s ideas on how best we can move our state forward together," Aresimowicz said in a statement on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said their proposal "seeks to strike a proper balance by not raising state tax rates, continuing to make key investments in our innovation economy, and finding ways to responsibly deliver significant structural change and the most efficient delivery of state services.”
“There are no easy choices. Our budget reflects the tough choices we have made to create a more efficient government that still works to make Connecticut a great place to live, work and raise a family,” House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Republicans are also expected to release a budget proposal on Tuesday as well.
Under Malloy's plan, 113 employees, from various departments, have already been let go. In total, 1,000 layoff notices could go out to balance the budget.
In total, the governor's new, nearly $40 billion budget reduces spending by about $604 million.
The changes were prompted after anticipated income tax revenue dropped sharply especially among the state's wealthiest taxpayers.
This budget takes $15 million from transportation projects, cuts an additional $350 million from municipal aid, and puts sales tax in non-prescription drugs.
State lawmakers from both parties are expected to respond to the growing budget crisis with their own budgets on Tuesday.
Despite being at odds over previous proposals, some Republicans seem to agree with the governor's plan. The latest proposals will be the basis for negotiations between lawmakers starting on Wednesday.
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