Malloy blames higher deficit on the weather [WTNH]

March 5, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — For Governor Malloy, the forecasts for an even deeper budget deficit are becoming as frequent as snowstorms this winter. It seems to be happening every week, and like the snow, getting deeper and deeper.

“We’re projecting a $101.2 million budget deficit for this fiscal year and that’s largely being driven downward by sluggish revenue,” said State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, D-Conn.

The Governor acknowledges the worsening numbers, but blames it on the weather.

“Part of that may, quite frankly, be because we’ve had some really tough weather, so we keep an eye on our major sources of income,” said Gov. Malloy. “The sales tax is one of those.”

But the State Comptroller says much lower than expected revenue from the income tax, not the sales tax, is causing problems. That could be because even though the stock market has been mostly up lately, if people don’t sell stocks at a profit they don’t make any quarterly payments to the state tax department. Things are not looking very good.

“He won’t face reality,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven. “He’s shunning the real reality out there which is the state is not as good as he would hope it to be, but hope is not going to balance the books.”

Meanwhile, advocates for public education are expected to cram a legislative hearing Tuesday night to complain that the Governor’s flat-funding for education will have very harmful effects, especially on the state’s well performing charter schools.

“Some of our schools may have to lay off people, may have to cut programs because they are not funded equitably, nor are they funded by just the cost of living increase that we have year-to-year,” said Jeremiah Grace of the Coalition for Every Child.

The State Comptroller, who is a Democrat like the Governor, is suggesting all sides at the Capitol get together to work on this right away. The Governor says everyone is welcome to make suggestions.