HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Like many state elected officials, Governor Malloy spent part of Friday at Veterans Day observances. Not only did his party suffer bruising defeats at the polls this week, now the number crunchers at the State Capitol say the state budget crafted by him and Democratic leaders in May is is already running about $100 million in the red, just four months into the budget year.
To make matters worse, the estimates for the next two year budget cycle are also getting much worse.
The red ink estimate for the 2017-18 budget year is about $1.5 billion. About $1.75 billion the year after for a state budget hole over $3 billion. This despite the fact that the Governor has laid off about 2,000 state employees in the past six months.
The state economy continues to grow slowly and because of that receipts from the State Income Tax, the state’s largest source of revenue, are not coming in at what budget projections had forecast. A big problem, along with higher than expected required contributions to the state teachers’ pension fund.
Republican leaders, who were blowing the whistle on the need for more budget cutting before the election, now say there is even more immediacy aiming for a Special Legislative Session before the holidays.
“I think the Governor should call us all in a room, Appropriations, current leaders now in place, immediately, next week,” said Len Fasano.
The Governor says his budget office actually thinks that revenues are growing, although slowly. But, reflecting the new, post-election reality of more Republicans in the Assembly, he’s open to getting together soon.
“I think it’s a little early but if that’s what people want to do, it’s okay with me,” says the Governor.
A Malloy Administration spokesman saying today that they will present lawmakers with details about the new state budget challenges next week.