The reality that lawmakers won’t get a budget done before the session is over is sinking in.
Lawmakers say the June 7 deadline to balance the state’s $40 billion budget that includes a $300 million-plus deficit won’t be met, so now they’re imposing an end of month deadline of June 30.
“It would be very difficult to come up with a budget by the end of the session, not saying we’re not going to try,” said State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Southington).
If they can’t meet that deadline, a special session, one that would be an additional burden to taxpayers, would need to be scheduled.
Not only that, if lawmakers can’t figure this out, the governor will.
“If we get into July and August without a state budget, there’s one person who runs the state of Connecticut and you’ve seen his budget and some people don’t like his budget,” said State Rep. Matt Ritter (D-Hartford).
“I’m not inviting that to happen. What I’m inviting is for people to do their job and get a budget,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.
While that’s the worst-case scenario, the fact that this budget won’t be passed by the original deadline is already causing a backlog on the local level.
Cities and towns are in a holding pattern with their budgets because they don’t know how much state aid they’ll get, and that affects families, because some towns, like South Windsor, are already preparing for the worst by laying off town employees.
“If you want to protect the things you care about, town aid, hospitals, I would say we should get a plan done by June 30, or else one person runs the state of Connecticut,” Ritter said.
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