Fasano Statement on Budget Deficit: “Governor Malloy’s hesitation has led to devastation”

June 19, 2015

HartfordSenate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding the 2015 budget deficit numbers released by the governor’s office late this afternoon. Reports show that the state currently has a deficit of $115.7 million.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Governor Malloy’s hesitation has led to devastation. This is exactly what we have been warning the governor about. Taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to closing an imminent and growing deficit is not leadership. Turning a blind eye to the reality of a problem only makes that problem worsen.

“As the deficit grew and the governor took on a piecemeal approach to try to address it, we were led further down the rabbit hole. I asked Governor Malloy repeatedly if he had a plan or if he was going to take from the rainy day fund. But my requests were answered with silence or dismissed. Now time has run out and his only option is to go to our rainy day fund, our emergency money, to fix a problem that could have been better dealt with months ago.

“Governor Malloy has chosen to live in his fantasy land of no deficits. He has said repeatedly that ‘there won’t be a deficit.’ But there is a deficit. It is here, it is now, and it is real. Even with the fund sweeps in the governor’s budget, the deficit still stands.”

Sen. Fasano was referencing the proposal included in the state budget approved by the legislature earlier this month to close the previously estimated deficit of $164.9 million in part by withholding $29 million in funding that was meant to be returned to hospitals, cutting $12.7 million in municipal aid that was promised to towns, and using premium payments to pay for operating expenses. Even after counting these funds, OPM’s report shows that the state still faces a deficit today of nearly $116 million.