With Deadline Nearing, Malloy Offers Budget Alternative To Keep State Running
By Christopher Keating and Daniela Altimari | June 26, 2017
HARTFORD – Offering proposed cuts of hundreds of millions for municipalities and up to 10 percent for nonprofits that provide state services, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy unveiled a budget-slicing executive order Monday that he said would become effective Saturday if the legislature cannot pass a budget.
With legislators delaying action in recent weeks, Malloy offered them two scenarios: accept the executive order or pass a three-month “mini-budget” that would raise taxes, fees and other revenues by $317 million to keep the state running as of Saturday.
Following a closed-door, 90-minute meeting Monday with top lawmakers, Malloy expressed frustration as time runs out in the current fiscal year.
“I’m getting impatient,” Malloy told reporters at the Capitol. “July 1 is an important date. We should have a budget. … It’s everybody’s problem — let’s put it that way.”
Without a budget, there would be no educational cost-sharing formula to allocate more than $2 billion for cities and towns. That money is crucially important for municipalities to run the public schools in all 169 municipalities. Mayors and first selectmen have been fearful of deep cuts in funding, and lawmakers have been working to avoid them.
With no budget, the state also could not hold State Bond Commission meetings for general-obligation bonds, Malloy said.
The executive order budget would cut the Rental Assistance Program by $4.5 million, eliminate funding for summer youth jobs, and allow raises for judges to become effective because there would be no legislation to delay them. Under the mini-budget, the funding would be restored for multiple programs, and the judges’ salary increases would be delayed. In addition, nonprofits would receive $56.5 million in funding that would not be available under the executive order.
The nonprofit community was not happy with the proposed executive order.
“There are devastating funding cuts to community-based providers in the executive order, although some would be mitigated by the proposed mini-budget, which would be good news,” said Gian-Carl Casa, president of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance. “However, under both scenarios, thousands of people across the state who rely on vital human service and other programs would be impacted. We continue to believe that budget solutions should be long term, and include conversion of state services to the community, where $300 million can be saved over the next five years and used to prevent damaging cuts.”