HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Malloy says his new formula for local aid will mean that city and town leaders will have to do some belt tightening. He also says a decision about whether he will run for a third term will come later this year.
In his first one-on-one interview of the new year, the Governor says his job will be convincing new lawmakers and long time lawmakers from both parties about the difficult journey to cut more than a billion dollars from the state budget.
Moving people to understand that there are hard choices to make. We have to decide what re essential services to provide because, quite frankly, there’s not enough money to do everything that everyone would like to do.”
The Governor knows that his call for more state employee union concessions during his speech this week is being met again by demands that the rich pay more of their fair share. He responds this way; “One percent of our population pays 35 percent of our Income Tax responsibilities. You know there’s the fable about the person who decided to ‘cook the goose that laid the golden eggs.’ We should be careful about that.”
The Governor also says that his plan to change the local aid formula, which is mostly for local schools, will likely result in some communities getting less from the state. He says they’ll have to tighten their belts like he has at the state level, “I made $850 million in cuts this last year. So understand that hard work has to be done by everyone.”
As far as bringing back highway tolls? He says time is running out. I posed the question this way, “Do you think that this is the legislative session where lawmakers really have to address some sort of funding mechanism for all these transportation plans you have?” The Governor responded, “I think that that would be advisable at least to take the long term approach. You don’t want your transportation fund hit zero.”
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Has he given any thought to a third term? “Not a lot, but I’ll get to that,” responded the Governor. And when will he make that decision? “I probably will make it sooner than a year from now. I don’t want to leave my Democratic colleagues in the lurch but, you know, I’m taking a serious look and having conversations with my wife and children and we’ll make a decision at the appropriate time.”
The specifics of what the Governor proposes to cut and how his new local aid formula will work will come in another speech to the legislature next month.