Local Officials Continue To Worry About Budget Stalemate As Oct. 1 Nears
Lawmakers warned that a failure to adopt the budget before Oct. 1 would leave towns crippled by cuts under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s executive order, but statutes provide some flexibility.
Towns feeling very uneasy back to top
Malloy told reporters Monday that he is no longer in favor of a short-term budget that could buy more time for a full, two-year plan. He also said municipal aid under the executive order is dictated by constitutional requirements for education funding and a desire to avoid adding to the deficit.
“My job is to protect the state of Connecticut, to honor the constitution of the state of Connecticut, and to … in the absence of a budget, limit the expenditures of the state of Connecticut,” he said.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities spokesman Kevin Maloney said municipalities “are feeling very uneasy.”
“These are unprecedented times,” he said. “We’ve never gone this far into a fiscal year without certainty ... regarding state aid.”
Other elements of the budget also have deadlines — a proposal to raise the hospital tax by 2 percent must go in place by Oct. 1 in order to reap the full benefit.
Under an agreement among Democrats, Malloy, and the Connecticut Hospital Association — and adopted by Republicans in their plan— the budget would include assurances that the state would reimburse hospitals for their tax payments.
Connecticut could then receive more federal funding, which it would split with the hospitals. The plan would net $550 million in revenues to the hospitals, and $349 million in tax income to the state.
The tax change needs to be adopted by Oct. 1, though, in order for the state to claim reimbursements back to July 1. Failure to adopt the budget in time would result in $75 million less in federal aid.