Malloy offering compromise on the budget to legislators today

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

CTMirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will submit budget revisions to the legislature today, a compromise in which he would cut funding for the administration priority of transportation and restore some of the spending legislators have demanded for hospitals and schools. In return, he asks that lawmakers minimize their use of one-time revenues to balance spending in 2016-17.

Full details of the plan were not available early Monday morning, but a source with knowledge of the plan told The Mirror the governor also is asking Democrats to accept some reductions in their plan to share sales tax receipts with cities and towns. The plan does incorporate proposals from both Democratic and from Republican legislators.

All sides have agreed not to raise taxes, but the Democratic plan to close a $960 million hole in the fiscal year that begins July 1 relies on hundreds of millions of dollars in fund sweeps and other one-time budget solutions.

Those temporary stopgaps, while helping to balance the books in the short-term, do nothing to reduce a much larger projected deficit, about $2.25 billion, in 2017-18 — the first new fiscal year after the November election.

Besides his making his regular annual budget proposal in February, the governor offered a second plan about two weeks ago to reflect declining revenue projections.

Democrats have argued that the Democratic governor not only wants to reduce the sales-tax-revenue-sharing plan that they are campaigning on this fall, but also has sought to cut too deeply into funds for hospitals and for social services.

Malloy told Capitol reporters late Friday that budget talks were “hitting a wall” and predicted that the regular 2016 legislative session would end at midnight Wednesday without a budget deal being reached.

Representatives of the governor and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate did not meet together in budget talks over the past weekend.

“I certainly welcome the governor’s effort to try to reach a compromise,” House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said at midday Monday, adding that he had not yet seen the proposal. “I wish it was something we could have done over the weekend but it’s not too late.”

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