Governor Sets ‘Roadmap’ for Special Budget Session
Governor Malloy has called for a special session of the legislature on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to address a $415 million budget deficit this fiscal year (ending June 30, 2013). The governor has already used his executive authority to order $123 million in cuts.
Today he also issued a “roadmap to a deficit mitigation plan,” outlining budget cuts, which he hopes will be the basis for bipartisan talks on Monday, Dec. 17.
The roadmap represents “areas in state government where we’ve identified targeted savings that we believe can be achieved,” said the governor.
More from Governor Malloy’s media release:
- “At Monday’s meeting, staff from OPM will present a list of specific line item options to be considered, and that all parties will agree to a “target number that needs to be hit.” That number will be produced by agreement between OPM and the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA).”
Tip of the Iceberg
But this deficit is just the tip of the state’s fiscal iceberg. Other projections show that the state’s next two-year budget (FY 2014 and 2015) is heading toward $2 billion in budget deficits.
Behind the growing budget dilemma, say state officials, are slower than expected state tax receipts, greater than expected demand for state services, especially for Medicaid, and a persistently struggling economy.
Meanwhile this week, State Treasurer Denise Nappier got Gov. Malloy’s approval to seek lines of credit for up to $550 million to keep state operations funded. That’s because the state’s cash coffers are dwindling.
The next full session of the General Assembly will begin on January 9, and that’s when lawmakers will have to fully come to grips with the fact that state spending has surpassed taxpayers’ ability to support it.
State budget director Ben Barnes has already said that significant “policy changes” are in order, and in fact there are positive, proven ways to make Connecticut’s state government more effective and cost-efficient.
It’s time to put those ideas into action.
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