Democrats Start Out New Fiscal Year with Painful Budget Cuts

July 1, 2016

Cuts announced today include holdbacks and lapses built into the fiscal year 2017 budget, which begins July 1, 2016

Hartford –Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement about the Governor’s office’s newly released budget cuts totaling $130 million. These cuts impact the fiscal year 2017 budget. These cuts include holdbacks and lapses that were already built into the Democrats’ budget when it was initially passed earlier this year.

“Gov. Malloy and I may not agree on a lot of things, but I will not shoot the messenger. The governor was instructed to make these cuts by Democrat legislators as a direct result of the budget the majority passed mandating these cuts. The Democrat legislators built these cuts into their budget, but left the dirty work of identifying what programs would be targeted up to Gov. Malloy. Democrat lawmakers cannot run from these cuts. They own them as much as they own the painful, shortsighted budget they voted for. Democrats gave Gov. Malloy the sword and now he’s using it.

“Many of these cuts target some of the most vulnerable populations in the state. At a time when our state is seeing record breaking opioid overdoses, this budget is now cutting an additional $3.1 million to substance abuse services, on top of already deep cuts. It also further reduces grants for mental health services and new cuts of $31 million in education – at the same time some Democrats have defended absurd raises for top staff at UConn. Why does top staff get to enjoy excessive raises even as more cuts come in?

“These cuts are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the pain in the new fiscal year which starts tomorrow. This money was already being counted on as savings in this budget before the line item cuts were even identified. These don’t take into account our new reduced income tax and sales tax projections, which will create more holes in the budget. These cuts certainly don’t help the fact that Connecticut has fallen short of the layoff target built into the budget. In fact, they count on even more layoffs occurring,” said Fasano.

According to the Office of Policy and Management, these cuts include $36 million in personal services, $7.6 million in other expenses, about $3 million in municipal aid, $17.6 million in human services, $31 million in education (including higher education), $6.5 million in grants, approximately $20 million in criminal justice, and $8.2 million in other categories.