Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell last week proposed a mix of cuts, fund transfers and deferred payments to close a $503.9 million current year budget deficit. The largest revenue measure proposed was the acceleration of a $219.2 million transfer from budget reserves that had been slated for fiscal 2011.
“The plan I am proposing not only eliminates the current deficit but makes much-needed structural reforms that will improve our prospects for long-term recovery,” Rell said in a statement. “If we do not act now, any short-term cuts we manage to make will be overwhelmed by the inexorable growth of state spending.”
The plan would defer a $100 million payment to the employee retirement system, transfer $58.2 million to the general fund from various accounts, cut spending by $81.8 million, and count $44.8 million of Medicare liability relief.
The plan includes recurring cuts that would total $120.3 million in fiscal 2011. Among those cuts is a $45 million hit to municipal aid that Rell said would be offset by mandate relief proposals.
Office of Policy and Management Secretary Robert Genuario is expected to brief the General Assembly’s appropriation committee on Wednesday.
The Republican governor has long clashed with the Democrat-led General Assembly. Last year, the legislature’s $37.57 billion biennial budget law went unsigned by Rell for two months. As revenues deteriorated in late 2009, lawmakers rejected Rell’s deficit-mitigation proposals and she vetoed those passed by the legislature.
House Speaker Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden said in statement that while he understood some cuts were necessary, he was “disappointed that the governor still will not delay new tax cuts on wealthy estates while recommending cuts that harm seniors and the disabled and that threaten jobs and economic growth.”