Reactions as Governor empties “Rainy Day” fund

State Capitol building in Hartford. (File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — While lawmakers and the governor are looking at solving a $5 billion deficit over the next two years, right now they’re short almost $390 million between now and July 1. So the governor took some drastic measures to get us through the next six weeks. He plans to empty the rainy day fund which is $235 million, taking $19 million in municipal aid, from the Pequot fund, from the casinos. It means the towns won’t get their expected checks next month. There will be $21 million in cuts to the State Judicial Department and $99 million in “revenue transfers” that are sweeping all accounts across state government agencies funding for the remainder of this year.

But with cities and towns in their own financial straits, that $21 million in unexpected cuts will really hurt. Kevin Maloney is with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and says by cutting the town without notice, it applies pressure to raise property taxes.

“The property taxes are by far the largest and most aggressive of taxes in Connecticut. And pushing the state budget problems onto the property tax payers is not going to be the way that we make Connecticut grow economically.”

Rep. Toni Walker (D) New Haven says it’s not going to be easy getting through the next six weeks, let alone the next two years.

“Right now, it is going to be very difficult…especially the Pequot fund, but we have to do it, no matter what. We have to close out 17.”

Rep. Dave Yaccarino (R)North Haven says he’s taking a page out of Gino Auriemma’s playbook. Over the last couple of days, Auriemma has addressed politics saying everybody has to work together like a team. He wants lawmakers to get together and figure this out.

“You have to work as a team, it is not me it is not you and with Gino said was that when you were born into a family you were born into a team and we are all teammates in Connecticut and we better start acting like a team to do what is right for the whole family of Connecticut residents,” Auriemma said.

So as lawmakers and the governor look at ways to save money, they’re also looking at ways to generate revenue which may include adding tolls, taxing the legalization of marijuana and other ideas being discussed.

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