Early last summer the Connecticut General Assembly adopted a budget agreement that had been negotiated between Governor Dannel Malloy and the Democratic leaders of the Connecticut State Senate and State House of Representatives.
In truth, the new state budget was out of balance the day it was signed into law and the situation has only gotten worse over the last four months.
Connecticut Income Tax revenues are down.
Connecticut Sales Tax revenues are down
Of the $209 million in “lapse” savings required in the state budget, Malloy has yet to identify $61 million in cuts.
And while the budget plan required about 2,000 layoffs in order to balance, the governor has only implemented about half that number.
Meanwhile, the poorly developed Malloy/Democratic austerity budget will lead to a variety of expenditures above budgeted amounts.
Together, these items translate to a REAL budget deficit in this year’s state budget in the range of $400 million or more.
However, rather than tell the citizens of Connecticut the truth about Connecticut’s continuing fiscal crisis, Governor Dannel Malloy lied to the people of Connecticut in the hope that voters would not take their anger out on the Democratic legislators who voted for the bad budget deal.
As the CT Mirror explained,
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy reported a minuscule state budget deficit [On October 20, 2016] — projecting a $6 million shortfall in state government’s $17.9 billion General Fund.
“We are projecting a minor $5.7 million operating deficit,” Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget chief, wrote in his official monthly forecast to Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo.
“Given that our estimates reflect information only through the first quarter of this fiscal year, this projection does not represent a material deviation from the budget plan.”
Still, it comes just six weeks after the administration reported a fiscal hole 23 times larger than this one in a memo to dozens of agency heads.
The CT Mirror’s story added,
“These budget numbers from the governor’s office are at odds with what every other reasonable observer knows and what other independent analysts have stated: Connecticut’s finances are a mess and 20 days before the election this partisan Democratic office wants to confuse and defuse when it comes to the salient facts,” House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said. “We are in huge trouble and we all know it will come out after Nov. 8, Election Day.
“The governor has downplayed and misstated facts for at least a year,” Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said. “The inability to face the real facts just gets this state deeper and deeper and deeper into trouble, and the enablers are the Democratic majority.”
For those tracking Malloy’s deficit charade, the CT Mirror broke the story that Malloy’s Budget Director wrote to agency heads last month informing them that there was a $133 million revenue shortfall in this year’s budget. However, days later, this same official wrote to State Comptroller Kevin Lembo telling him that there was no budget deficit at all.
Malloy’s latest political tactic is strikingly similar to the one he used when he was running for re-election in 2014. For months he told Connecticut voters that there was no state budget deficit, nor would there be any state budget deficit if he was re-elected to a second term in office.
However, ten days after Election Day 2014, Malloy announced that a major state deficit had suddenly appeared.
While Malloy strains to keep the magnitude of this year’s state budget deficit secret, the truth will become increasingly apparent in the weeks following this year’s November 8th election.