Republicans Call for Immediate Budget Action
State Republican legislators say the 2010 budget was brought into balance this week by simply moving money around.
But the problems that are causing deficits are not being addresses, they said.
GOP House and Senate leaders on Thursday outlined a plan that, they say, erases $736 million for fiscal 2011 and does the job without raising taxes.
They're calling for consolidation of government agencies, shrinking the public workforce, and investing $74 million to stimulate job growth.
House Republican leader Lawrence Cafero says next year looks grim, but the years after that are even worse. Both fiscal 2012 and 2013, he says, are showing projections of $4 billion deficits each year. And he says that unless the real causes are addressed, the situation will not get any better.
Republican Senator Len Fasano said the Legislature should not leave after May 5 simply because 2010 has been taken care of. He said lawmakers must remain in session, that they don't deserve to go home.
Democrats reacted by saying meetings will begin next week with Gov. M. Jodi Rell to work on the newly projected deficits. They also say the Republican budget released on Thursday includes a number of unrealistic and unachievable savings.
Rell released a letter to lawmakers on Thursday, saying we still have major fiscal challenges to confront.
She says she'll meet with legislative leaders next week and outline her plans to close the 2011 deficit and do so without tax increases or cuts in municipal aid.