FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – With the state facing about a $400 million budget deficit in 2013, Gov. Dannel Malloy on Friday released what he called a “roadmap to a deficit mitigation plan,” which calls on state legislators to dig deeper to find areas of agreement where budget cuts can be made.
Malloy has been meeting with legislators from both parties this week, and he plans to begin negotiating with them on Dec.10 to make cuts to address the shortfall.
Late in November, Malloy proposed more than $170 million in cuts that affected virtually every department and agency in the state.
Further cuts are likely needed, and Malloy hopes to achieve a bipartisan plan that can be voted on in a special session of the General Assembly on Dec. 19.
“It is my hope – and I’ve communicated this to legislative leaders from both parties – that the final plan will be a bipartisan one,” said Malloy in a statement. “That’s my goal, and if all sides come to the table in good faith, I’m hopeful we can get it done.”
Following his election in 2010, Malloy combined spending cuts with tax increases to close much of the more than $3 billion deficit the state was facing then, but he said tax increases should not be a part of deficit-reduction plan this time around.
“We’ve come a long way in a little less than two years,” Malloy said. “We’ve taken a deficit that we inherited from $3.65 billion down to approximately $365 million. That means, in less than 2 years, we’ve addressed 90 percent of the problem it took 20 years to create. That said, it’s also clear we have a ways to go.”
Earlier in the week, Malloy authorized a $550 million line of credit to help cover operating costs, according to state Rep. Larry Cafero (R-143), who blasted the move. Cafero, who was re-elected in November to represent West Norwalk, is the House Minority Leader.
“The State of Connecticut’s finances have deteriorated to the point where we are no longer just using money from [issuing bonds] to defray operating costs, but are now faced with the prospect of resorting to lines of credit to meet our obligations,” said Cafero in a statement. “We have reached a new phase: outright borrowing to pay operating expenses.”