Governor Dannel Malloy has unveiled his proposals to close Connecticut’s latest budget gap, and improve the state’s fiscal outlook in coming years. But it appears his ideas may face opposition in the legislature as the new session gets underway.
The state faces a $165 million deficit in the 2019 fiscal year, but potential billion dollar gaps in the next biennium -- unless bigger structural changes are made.
The governor’s proposals include cutting municipal aid, increasing the cigarette tax, the real estate conveyance tax, and hotel occupancy taxes.
He would also restructure the funding of teachers’ pensions, giving the state more time to pay down large deficits in contributions.
“Fiscal integrity remains our guiding principle, that means we value achievable savings, realistic expectations and long-term stability," the governor told reporters Monday. "Our main objective in this proposal is to provide legislators with workable solutions that will bring the budget into balance and keep it there.”
The legislative session begins Wednesday, and it's expected that fiscal issues could dominate much of the discussion at the Capitol in the coming weeks.
Republican leader in the state senate Len Fasano has already expressed skepticism about the governor's contribution.
"His brand of irresponsible tax policies, what he calls a progressive agenda, has created the crisis Connecticut now faces," Fasano said in a statement. "What the governor released today is nothing more than a continuation of his legacy of tax increases, economic decline and penalties on the most vulnerable."