Legislators, advocacy groups and a whole host of state agencies and commissions are being told to expect an “ugly” budget when Gov. Dan Malloy makes his budget address Wednesday. No one wil be happy and it’s likely everyone will be thinking it’s their ox being gored–and it probably will be.
The state is in the red for the current budget year to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. When the governor takes the stage Wednesday, he and the legislature will start to deal with a new two-year budget that is projected by nonpartisan analysts to be $1.3 billion short in the first year and $1.4 in the second. Malloy has repeatedly said he will not raise taxes. That means just about everything and everyone else will be hit.
The Shad has been told Malloy administration offcials are prepping groups like the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) and the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) to expect a very tough budget.
CCM’s leadership is already on recored as oppossing hits to state aid to cities and towns. The group’s president Matthew Galligan told The Hanging Shad last month, “We have done our very best to cut costs and hold the line…We’ve retired out people, changed health plans and done whatever we could. We shouldn’t be chastised by the state. These are commitments made to us [by the governor]. He’s been successful in keeping us whole in the budget. That should continue in the new, upcoming budget.”
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano is expecting a bare-bones, no-new-taxes spending proprosal from Malloy who will just then punt it off to the legislature. “He can just say ‘this is a very tough budget’ and then leave the heavy lifting to state lawmakers,” said Fasano. Many General Assembly’s most powerful of them in their first year of leadership.