HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The state budget year ends at midnight Friday and lawmakers in Hartford say they will not be voting on any kind of new spending plan today.
That means Governor Dannel Malloy will have to run the state with executive orders until a budget can be passed.
It means hard times for anyone who relies on state social services. It means a lot of uncertainty for cities and towns trying to balance their budgets. And if you ask Governor Malloy, it means democrats in the house failed by not passing a budget.
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They had a chance yesterday to try to pass a stop-gap mini-budget to cover the next three months. That would give them time to figure out a full two year budget that would somehow eliminate the estimated $5 billion deficit. The democrats who control the House did not call for a vote, however. There are no plans to call for one today either. That means there are no more options.
Governor Malloy will have to fund the state using executive orders, and he says that will mean major cuts. He says those who are the most vulnerable will end up being the most affected. Now, House democrats did come out with a two year budget plan yesterday, but they are already taking fire from the democratic governor and republican leaders because the main way the plan would balance the budget is by increasing revenue, in other words, raising taxes.
“I have said that budget discussions cannot be lead with revenue. I’ve said that since January an what do they lead with? Revenue,” said Malloy.
“That’s a non starter, that large amount of taxes,” said Sen. Len Fasano.
Revenue, taxes, whatever you want to call it. Len Fasano, the top republican in the senate says the democratic budget has 800 million dollars in new taxes. The proposal is to take the current sales tax of 6.35% and bump that up to 6.99% and allowing cities and towns to kick that up to 7.9% on food and drinks served bars and restaurants.
They could then keep that extra one percent to help make up for a reduction in state aid to towns. Democrats are also counting on major concessions from state labor unions saving about a billion and a half dollars. Those unions will vote on the concessions July 17th.
So right now house democrats plan to vote on their budget July 18th. The Senate has not agreed to that, however, so we don’t know when we will actually have a budget.