Fasano: “Taking from the rainy day fund is the first sign of Connecticut sinking” [Courant]

July 2, 2015

Hartford Courant

HARTFORD – State Comptroller Kevin Lembo projected a budget deficit of $115.7 million for fiscal year 2015 Wednesday, corroborating an earlier deficit projection from the governor’s budget office.

The comptroller’s report, like the Office of Policy and Management’s, notes that the budget reserve fund, also called the rainy day fund, will be used to pay for any remaining deficit.

The latest projection — still subject to change as the accounting process continues — comes a day after the state’s two-year, $40 billion budget for fiscal 2016 and 2017 was adopted. The confluence of the two events has critics projecting a grim future for the state’s fiscal future.

“For the past eight months the governor ignored all the warning signs that a budget shortfall was imminent. And now his only option is to use our state’s emergency cash to make up the difference,” Len Fasano, the Senate Republican minority leader, said in a statement. “That’s irresponsible, not to mention dangerous. Without any structural change in the new state budget, I fear we are on the same trajectory and the outlook is not good. The state budget is like quicksand, and taking from the rainy day fund is the first sign of Connecticut sinking.”

Fasano voted against the budget, which includes initial funding for Malloy’s 30-year, $100 billion transportation initiative.