Fasano Shares Concerns about Connecticut’s $3 billion deficit over next 2 years [WFSB]

January 6, 2015

WFSB 3 Connecticut
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – The election is long over and now Governor Dannel Malloy and lawmakers have the challenge of fixing the state’s budget.

Connecticut is facing a deficit of nearly $3 billion over the next two years.

Malloy is expected to make his State of the State address on Wednesday and he feels the economy is a bit brighter than when he won his first term in 2011, but others said not by much.

Four years later the economy is making some positive signs but it could still be a tough legislative session.

Connecticut’s deficit four years ago was $4 billion, and the state was losing jobs.

The state’s unemployment rate in November 2010 was 9.5 percent, the latest numbers show improvement with a three-point-drop.

During Malloy’s first term, he raised taxes to historic levels but that has not been enough to fix the ailing economy.

Cities and towns who struggle with their budgets and have to manage to avoid cuts are worried.

“We are asking that the legislature hold harmless municipalities. That there are no cuts in aid and level of funding for Fiscal Year 15 is allowed to remain,” said Ron Thomas of Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Big issues for cities and towns are quality of schools, having an educated workforce, safe neighborhoods and lower property taxes.

“I am very concerned about the budget,” said Republican Minority Leader and State Senator Len Fasano.

Republicans said Democrats are waiting to start budget negotiations until they see revenue numbers from December sales, as well as estimated taxes.

“Every day we wait – if you put a plan together now that saves more money and if we don’t need to save that much — not a bad thing – a novelty in the state,” Fasano said.