Occhiogrosso: List of municipal cuts is not alternative to concessions

A $1 billion list of cuts in municipal aid circulated today by the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is not the governor’s contingency plan if his concession talks with state employees fail to yield $1 billion in labor savings, according to his senior adviser, Roy Occhiogrosso.

Occhiogrosso released the list to illustrate what the state budget would look like if Malloy emulated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is cutting state aid to municipalities instead of raising taxes. The list was immediately interpreted in some quarters as Malloy’s alternative.

To be sure, if Malloy fails to obtain major concessions from labor, municipalities can expect to see state aid diminish, as the administration made clear nearly two weeks ago. But Occhiogrosso said the governor will not try to make up $1 billion out of the $2.8 billion in state aid that now goes to cities and towns.

Exactly how much aid would disappear is unclear.

Occhiogrosso said the list was offered as an answer to a question frequently posed at town-hall meetings: Why can’t you produce a budget like Cuomo’s?

The release of the list is timed to coincide with a lobbying day Wednesday at the Capitol by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. A half-dozen municipal leaders will hold a press conference to press the point that Malloy’s budget, as it now stands, will help them hold down property taxes.

CCM also is airing a radio commercial backing the governor’s budget.