Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed a new path forward when it comes to having a budget by the end of the fiscal year and presented what he’s referring to as a, "mini budget."
It's a spending plan that would need to be passed by the General Assembly to provide allocations and some revenue enhancements for the first three months of the 2018 fiscal year.
Republicans scoffed at the idea and Democrats essentially ruled out the possibility.
Without the three-month stop-gap spending measure, Malloy laid out the scary fiscal consequences of not having a budget signed into law. According to his administration, $500 million in education spending could be cut from cities and towns, another $500 in municipal aid grants would be cut and $92 million wouldn’t be provided to non-profit providers around Connecticut.
“I’m getting impatient. July 1 is an important date. We should have a budget,” the governor said during a news conference following a meeting with lawmakers.
Republicans and Democrats described the cuts that could happen as “draconian,” and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz even said leadership in both the House and Senate would meet through the evening hours Monday to try to come up with a spending plan before the end of the week.
Republicans decried the fact that their budget was debated on the Senate floor on the last night of session, but it didn’t get a vote, even though an agreement was struck to not vote on the measure before the debate even started.
They said if they had the reins of state government, July 1 wouldn’t look so perilous.
“If we would have been running the show we would have had a budget by June 7 so one deadline has come and gone, this deadline is looking like it’s coming and going. If you did that in your own job, you’d be fired,” House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said.
With all of the budget talk, Malloy announced that he has struck a tentative agreement with the state’s SEBAC unions to reach $1.5 billion in concessions over the next two years, so long as rank and file members approve the amendment to their contracts.
Unions are expected to vote on the proposal over the next month, and for now the odds are looking good that it’s going to be approved.
"I think it’s just pulling the Band-Aid off. We’ve got a tentative agreement. It can go to vote about a month from now. We’re going to have the results but again any worker is willing to come to the table to help their employer. They just don’t want to be taken advantage of," Lori Pelletier, of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said.
Republicans have said they oppose the agreement for two main reasons, that the deal extends wage contracts through 2027 and that it doesn’t reach high enough savings targets.