The GOP reviews of Connecticut Gov. Malloy’s budget address were pretty much like, “He sounds like a Republican” or “Where was this years ago?” But the top Republican in the legislature is questioning the governor’s urgency and seriousness on the issues.
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano says the governor has at least admited structural change is needed. “I think the governor gets it. But the question I have is one of seriousness,” he said.
Fasano has reason to be suspect. It wasn’t until the 11th hour that Republicans were allowed to participate in negotiations that result in the last “fix” of the state budget. A pattern is emerging on the state budget. Legislative Democrats and the governor’s people make adjustments to the current plan that was out of balance before the ink was dry on it last summer. Everyone pats themselves on the back for a job well done. A month or two later, the process repeats itself.
Fasano also doubts the legislature will give the governor the increased control over the budget he is looking for. “The governor is saying, ‘if you guys can’t it done, give the authority.’”
Gov. Malloy also wants to implement “block budgeting”—essentially allotting a certain amount of funding to each agency and then letting them figure out how to spend it. “We asked OLR [Office of Legislative Research] to see what other states use block budgeting. There is none.”
State employee labor unions are freaking out and they have reason to be. Usually the third rail for Democrats, imposing new, public-sector-like benefits and salaries on labor seems inevitable. But not without a fight. It could get ugly.
Social service advocates are buggin‘ too.
It could get ugly.