Panic Over Conn. Budget Numbers Unwarranted

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News that the state budget is currently on course to be in the red for this budget year and severely so in the next has sent critics of Gov. Dan Malloy into a tizzy. Some Republicans are crying “tax hikes!” or “don’t hurt our cities and towns!” They need to stay calm and see the cuts and beyond.

State legislative Republicans, who apparently aren’t over their election defeats, are going bananas over some budget numbers out this week including the fact that without action, the sate will be up to $100 million short at the end of this budget year.

Fortunately, Gov. Malloy is taking action, a fact apparently overlooked by freaked-out lawmakers. Malloy has instituted a hiring and spending freeze and is readying cuts that he has the authority to make. He is sticking to his promise to not have the budget in deficit when the fiscal year ends and won’t raise taxes.

Republican state Sen. L. Scott Franz of Greenwich seems deathly afraid his fellow poverty-stricken Greenwich brethren might have to dig into their sofas to pay more. Yet Malloy says even the tony home of Tom Foley and Linda McMahon won’t see a tax increase.

It doesn’t help matters that state Treasurer Denis Nappier doesn’t have a good handle on things and it could be true that expected tax breaks might not happen. But there is really no reason for the apoplectic response from Frantz and others.

Outgoing state House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (the happy word there being “outgoing”) will apparently spend his last days in the legislature slamming Malloy. “[W]ith this governor, nothing would surprise me,” he said. Whatever moves Malloy and majority Democrats want to make, Cafero may not be there to vote against it.