Report by Paula Antolini
October 16, 2017 12:08PM EDT
Gov. Malloy Releases New, ‘Bare-Bones’ Budget Proposal
Offers State Legislature a Balanced, No-Frills Budget with New Compromise Solutions
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today released his fourth balanced budget proposal for the FY18-FY19 biennium. Built off the administration’s last compromise budget (House Bill 7501, as amended by Senate Amendment A), this new budget eliminates numerous tax increases, cuts additional spending, and pares down implementer language to focus only on structural changes and language that is actually necessary to implement the biennial budget.
“This is a lean, no-frills, no-nonsense budget,” Governor Malloy said. “Our goals were simple in putting this plan together: eliminate unpopular tax increases, incorporate ideas from both parties, and shrink the budget and its accompanying legislation down to their essential parts. It is my sincere hope this document will aid the General Assembly in passing a budget that I can sign into law.”
This latest proposal from the Governor includes the following:
- Revenue Changes: This proposal maintains revenue changes where there was general consensus, while eliminating other, problematic revenue proposals, including new taxes on second homes, cell phone surcharges, ridesharing fees, and daily fantasy sports.
- Spending Cuts: In order to achieve balance, the proposal cuts spending even further with an additional $150 million in reductions over the biennium, bringing the total spending cuts to more than $144 million, bringing the total general fund spending to $18.38 billion in FY18.
- Implementing Language: This proposal strips more than 130 pages of implementing language from House Bill 7501, as amended by Senate Amendment A. It does so by paring down implementer sections into two key categories: items that provide structural relief for the state and municipalities, and language that is necessary to actually implement the biennial budget. In doing so, it removes language for a new transportation authority, language on “raise the age” policy, and much more.
- Municipal Aid: This proposal includes an updated ECS formula that maintains focus on school districts most in need of assistance, but which phases in more gradually in order to ease the impact on Connecticut municipalities. As referenced above, the budget also contains municipal mandate relief for Connecticut towns and cities, as well as the “Municipal Accountability Review Board” to ensure that aid to Hartford and other struggling municipalities is paired with oversight and accountability.
“As with every budget I have put forth, I remain open to making changes and improvements to this document,” Governor Malloy said. “No budget is perfect, and none of us have the market cornered on good ideas. At the same time, we must keep in mind that time is of the essence if we want to avoid the most difficult cuts to towns, hospitals, and nonprofits. Simply put, we need to act now on behalf of our constituents.”