Let the Budget Slashing Begin

State lawmakers will have a tough job at the state Capitol Wednesday. Their challenge is to fix the largest budget shortfall in recent Connecticut memory.

The state is facing a $343 million deficit this fiscal year and it is expected to grow in the next two fiscal years to about $6 billion.

To cut the deficit, Gov. M. Jodi Rell is asking some state workers to take a day off without pay.

She also hopes the attorney general, comptroller and treasurer, as well as judicial and legislative officials, will consider taking an unpaid day of leave.

She said she wanted to be the first in line, before asking her 100 nonunion staff members to "volunteer" to take a day off by March 1.

If all 2,500 commissioners and managers respond to the governor's request, the state would save a little more than $1 million.

A good portion of the governor's package transfers money from funds and special accounts to cover declines in state income and sales tax revenues. There are also about $7 million in cuts spread out among numerous agencies.

Rell and the legislature approved $72 million in spending cuts and delays in November.

Rell posted what she considers the budget highlights on her Web site.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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