HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Both sides of the aisle are coming together Tuesday to tighten the budget belt.
Layoffs, cuts to municipal aid and state parks, plus tax increases, they’re all options right now. On Tuesday, the Democrats and Republicans are rolling out their plans on how to get the state out of the red.
Here’s a breakdown the plan, starting with the layoffs. Already, more than 100 state employees were let go and thousands could be out of the job before this is all over. So far, it includes 88 jobs at the Department of Social Services, 22 at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and three at the State Budget Office itself.
To try and stop the bleeding, state employee unions say they are continuing exploratory talks on concessions this week. But Governor Dannel Malloy says he needs $700 million in concessions and he needs them now.
Next, Malloy announced he plans to cut an additional nearly $400 million in municipal aid. When asked what he would do if he were running a town facing those cuts he said, “I would do what I’m asking state employees to do and that is to be part of the answer.”
In the proposals, state parks will see their funding cut by a third, which means many smaller ones may not have staff anymore.
And lastly, tax increases. The governor wants to get rid of the sales tax exemption on over the counter non-prescription drugs. Also, he wants to increase the so-called mansion tax. That’s the tax on homes that cost more than $800,000.
Now, lawmakers will submit their ideas Tuesday, then it’s back to the bargaining table Wednesday.