HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Lawmakers now have less than 8 weeks to come up with $390 million to balance this year’s budget.
Usually, cutting police is a last resort for politicians trying to balance a budget, so the fact that State police union leaders have been summoned to Hartford Thursday to talk about layoffs, well that shows you just how serious the state’s budget problems are.
Tax season is over and it was not good for the state. It collected a lot less income tax money than people thought it would. The result is a $390 million hole in the current budget. The state police union requires 6 weeks notice for any layoffs. The budget deadline is just over 7 weeks away.
Last week, Governor Malloy came out with a plan that would cut 160 jobs at the state police. I told you cutting police is a last resort, well here are all the other resorts the governor is trying…
He proposes using every penny of the so-called ‘Rainy Day Fund’ essentially the state savings account. 99 million in what are called revenue transfers…that’s sweeping all accounts across state agencies funding for the remainder of this year. 21 million in cuts to the state Judicial Department and 19 million in cuts in municipal aid…the so called Pequot fund from the casinos…it means the towns get no check in June. And if the towns don’t get their money from the state, they’ll have to get it somewhere else.
“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,” said Kevin Maloney, Connecticut conference of municipalities.
A lot of those cuts have to be done in conjunction with the General Assembly, so there is still a lot of negotiating to do, and that’s just to get through the next 7 weeks. There is still the next two-year budget that starts July first. It has a projected deficit of around $5 billion.
Remember, the state is using all its rainy day money for this year’s storm, but the prediction is a monsoon for the next two years.