Not to fear, says Gov. Rell. Her office announced Tuesday that even without a new, two-year state budget passed by the legislature, the state will keep running. She signed an executive order ensuring the checks will be paid and the lights kept on when the new fiscal year begins Wednesday.
“I remain hopeful that we will resolve the budget issues that divide us and bring an affordable, responsible budget proposal to the General Assembly for a vote in the very near future,” Rell said. “In the interim, I am taking all of the steps necessary to ensure that state government functions smoothly.”
Rell’s order provides specific dollar allotments to state agencies for the month of July 2009 so that they can continue to function. A new executive order would be issued if August nears without a budget in place.
Connecticut faces a projected $9 billion deficit and is one of 10 states that still do not have a budget.
The problem this year, of course, is the economy and figuring out what cuts to make.
“First and foremost, people should rest assured that state government will continue to operate – services will be delivered; we will care for the vulnerable and the sick; public safety and public health will be protected,” Rell said. “Negotiations between my Administration and legislative leaders from both the Republican and Democratic caucuses are continuing.
Nationwide, personal income-tax collections dropped 26 percent from January to April, the Journal reports, citing to data collected by the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, N.Y.
Then, there are lagging sales-tax revenues. Forty-eight states are in the red a total of $166 billion, the Journal reports, citing a report by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Under Executive Order No. 28, Rell declares that a fiscal emergency exists because there is no budget, and directs agency chiefs to limit all purchases to only those items essential to continued operations.
“All state parks remain open, all services will continue and the public should see no change in state operations,” Rell said.