Days after the GOP budget passed the Connecticut General Assembly, Governor Dannel Malloy said he had more time to review what is in the budget that’s about to reach his desk.
Malloy said the funding formula for education laid out in the GOP budget is "one hot mess" and maintained his pledge to veto the spending plan and go back to the drawing board for a budget.
Republican Leader Themis Klarides counters the governor by arguing the GOP plan is constitutionally sound and would pass a judge’s test for equity in school funding.
"If we want to make sure we have equity in our education funding, we have to make sure that we have a formula that works," Klarides said. "We believe this does."
Over a two-year period, the GOP proposal does not decrease spending to any individual school system. Where Malloy’s criticism strikes at the heart of the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula, is the way funds are distributed when comparing wealthy and poor communities.
For instance, Greenwich, from 2017 to 2018, receives a 955 percent increase, to $1.12 million, from $106,750. While in Hartford, one of the most distressed cities in the state, the funding increase to $159 million is less than two percent, up from $156 million.
The governor said such logic baffles him.
"The places we have failed in we have recently had success in because we have redirected funds to those communities and this budget takes that money away and this budget dismembers the programs that have brought about this change," Malloy said. "You think I’m pretty hot about this issue? I am very hot about this issue."
Republicans said the fact that Democrats sided with them should be enough of a case for the governor to sign the bill into law as soon as possible.
If a budget does not go into effect by October first, then more than $500 million in spending cuts would go into effect automatically as a result of Malloy’s executive order.
For that reason, Republicans reiterated their call for the governor to sign the budget.
Sen. Len Fasano, the top Republican in the Senate said, "Look, we’ve got a bipartisan budget that passed both chambers. Sign it. Period."