If it seemed liked Governor-elect Dan Malloy was everywhere this weekend it’s because well, he was. Malloy made the rounds on all the Sunday state public affairs shows (including FOX-CT’s “The Real Story” which I co-hosted with Laurie Perez and CTNewsJunkie.com’s Christine Stuart). But the media blitz was not without a distinct purpose—to ready the state , its people, workers and agencies for the unbelievably painful solutions to the state budget crisis that are to come.
Malloy was honest during the campaign about the sacrifices nearly everyone will have to make to close the $3.4 billion-plus budget hole. But in the aftermath of his election victory, Malloy was smart to start now to remind people how tough it’s going to be. Not able to give specifics until he gets what is the Rell administration’s excuse for a budget document today, Malloy hinted that a combination of drastic cuts, consolidation, union give-backs, more federal revenue and possibly new taxes are all likely to be part of the solution.
Making the job all that much more difficult is the Rell administration’s dishonesty about what it’s handing off. Last week, the outgoing governor held a press conference in which she said she would not be giving the incoming folks a full budget but rather a list of choices for cuts, etc. that the new administration might want to consider. Gov. Rell went so far as to say, “We will leave this [Malloy] administration with no budget deficit…I have been very careful on that…What I’m leaving is a budget that will have no deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30. I was prepared if necessary to do a deficit mitigation plan again and rescissions if it came to that, but we’ve been holding our agencies feet to the fire and keep our commitment to keeping that budget in tack.” What a joke.
(It’s not surprising that Rell Bully-in-Chief Lisa Moody issued a gag order on state agency heads and commissioners. Why perpetuate the dishonesty? The phrase “Pants on Fire” comes to mind.)
| Executive ChambersOffice of the Governor
M. Jodi Rell
TO: All Commissioners and Agency Heads
From: Governor M. Jodi Rell
DAte: November 4, 2010
November 4, 2010
To All Commissioners and State Agency Heads:
As you are well aware, we are still waiting for the official election results of the Governor’s race from the Secretary of the State’s office. After an official winner is declared, the next few weeks will be a time of transition for the Administration.
If you or your agency staff receives calls or requests from the future Governor-elect or his transition team – even after the winner is officially declared – we are requesting that you immediately direct any communication from them to the Governor’s Office. All communications with the Governor-elect or his transition should start with the Governor’s Office.
M. Jodi Rell
Compounding the problem is Malloy’s continued insistence on implementing Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). GAAP essentially removes the smoke and mirrors that have been integral to “balancing” the budget. The Rell administration claims it would cost “several hundred thousand dollars” to implement GAAP. That was made out of whole cloth. It’s not the implementation that is the problem. It’s the new rules it would bring. The budget would be “honest” and therefore, more difficult to do. Sometimes honesty makes things very hard.