Connecticut still doesn't have a budget and on Monday, Gov. Dannel Malloy is putting forth a couple options.
Malloy met with lawmakers once again on Monday to figure out how to balance this fiscal year's deficit of $107 million and project the 2-year deficit of $5 billion. The deadline for an agreement is Friday.
After the meeting, Malloy announced that he has released a “resource allocation plan” for Fiscal Year 2018. The governor is proposing a "mini" budget, which would have to be approved by the legislature, to get us through the next three months. The governor's office said, "legislative action on the mini-budget is the most responsible and preferable alternative, short of adopting a balanced and responsible 2-year budget."
“Connecticut can and will adopt a responsible, balanced budget for the coming biennium – the question is how best to handle our finances until that happens. I am prepared to operate government in the absence of a budget, but it has never been my preference to do so. That’s why I’m offering this proposed mini-budget to the General Assembly. It is a responsible, short-term option that allows us more time to negotiate a full budget, without making our current problems any worse and without further jeopardizing the state’s bond rating. I urge the General Assembly to take up this mini-budget before the week is out," Malloy said in a statement on Monday.
A mini-budget would run state government until the end of October.
"Short of adopting a balanced two-year budget," Malloy said. "I believe taking action on the mini-budget is the most responsible and preferable alternative. It's a responsible short-term and allows us more time to negotiate a full budget without making problems any worse."
It’s an idea, but democrats say they need time to dig into it.
“The mini budget, we haven't even had a chance to go through,” said Democratic State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz.
Democratic leaders say they have made significant progress on a traditional budget, the problem, and frustration for many is that that progress hasn’t yielded a finished product.
“We believe we should be passing a budget before July 1, that’s our obligation,” said Republican State Senator Len Fasano.
The other option would be for the governor to issue an executive order. The governor calls that the worst case scenario. It would be opened ended, bare bones with serious cuts to state group homes, non-profits, hospitals and no ECS funding for cities and towns.
"Instead of tornados and hurricanes and cyclones going through the state it'll just be tornados and hurricanes, so it’s a better version of a bad case scenario," Aresimowicz said.
The state is facing a $5-billion deficit over the next two years. Republicans and Democrats have been gridlocked on how to fix it.
The governor may be able to get state unions to agree on concessions. He's now signed a tentative contract with union leaders to save $24 billion. Union members must still approve the deal which freezes wages for three years, increases what employees pay towards pensions and towards health care premiums.
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