Malloy Speaks to Budget Shortfall

Gov. Dan Malloy told reporters Wednesday that the projected $100 million budget gap needs to examined through a proper lens.

According to reports from the Office of Fiscal Analysis and the Office of Policy and Management, the state faces roughly $100 million in revenue shortfalls.

"The state budget is $20,000 million dollars and you’re asking me about $100 million dollars," Malloy said following a meeting of the Connecticut Bond Commission. "I think in that context, it's important."

Benjamin Barnes, secretary of the OPM, said proposed cuts could be expected by the end of the week.

He didn't say where the cuts may occur but did hint last week that he wanted to protect entitlement programs like Medicaid.

Republicans said the $100 million isn't just a small amount in the grand scheme of a huge state spending plan and that the news of the shortfall should be heard far and wide by taxpayers.

“Listen anything’s a big amount," said Republican State Sen. L. Scott Frantz, of Greenwich. "When you’re talking about increased deficits, you’ve got to talk about making weight in every single account and bring things under control.”

Malloy said he doesn't anticipate tax hikes in order to pay for the projected gap, a promise he made during his re-election campaign.

“We’ll make some minor adjustments in the range of one percent to five percent in some expenditure areas and in other areas we won’t make adjustments,” Malloy said.

The governor does have the authority to make what are known as rescissions, cuts of up to 5 percent across general spending at his discretion.

Republicans said they don't want that to happen and would rather collaborate on where to make spending cuts.

“I think the budgets are large enough that they’re really going to have to start getting serious about really figuring out other ways to enhance revenues, but more importantly, figure out a way to bring the cost of government, the cost of state government in Connecticut under control," said Frantz.

Malloy and Republicans do agree on one point: that some of the budget issues are outside of their control, since Washington hasn't provided some payments for Medicaid that the state depends on.

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