‘Capitol Connection’ Budget Update

June 29, 2011

On Saturday, June 25th, each member of the state legislature received formal written notice that the General Assembly will convene for a special session on Thursday, June 30th. A proclamation issued by Governor Malloy was brought, by state trooper, to the homes of each State Senator and State Representative mandating their attendance in special session following the state workers’ failure to ratify the union concession deal.

The Governor had set out to re-coup a savings of $1.6 billion through concessions from the state’s workforce, but that labor agreement did not receive the necessary votes from union members, requiring the legislature to take action. During Thursday’s special session, which is the last day of the fiscal year, we will debate and vote on a measure granting Governor Malloy greater rescission authority to make unilateral spending cuts in order to fill the $1.6 billion gap in the state budget. The Governor is seeking to double his authority to 10 percent and also gain cognizance over municipal aid reductions. As of June 28th, the Governor had presented budget recommendations that would include 5,466 state employee layoffs, the elimination of 1,000 currently vacant positions, and a 2.4 percent cut in municipal aid in order to fill the hole left by the failed concession agreement.

The Governor’s request for such an increase in rescission authority is an unprecedented measure in our state’s history. And as Connecticut’s constitution mandates that it is the responsibility of the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget, I expect that this special session will draw much debate before members of the legislature cast their final vote. The residents of Connecticut deserve a fair and balanced budget process.

Next week’s column will include a review of the June 30th special session, so stay tuned for more information.