Gov. M. Jodi Rell warned legislative leaders today not to let the 2010 session end in six weeks without approving a plan to ‘securitize” or sell $1.7 million or more in future state revenues to help balance the next state budget.

“The time for making the difficult choices and for taking decisive action is at hand,” wrote the governor, whose Office of Policy and Management worked with state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier to identify six possible revenue sources government could sell at a discount over the next decade in exchange for a reduced, lump-sum payment now.

Those options, which include supplemental rates on consumer electric bills, Keno and other new lottery games, electronic tolls and others, all have met with strong criticism from the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

“Legislators have every right to express concerns, but they also have an obligation under the adopted budget to take definitive action,” the Republican governor wrote. “OPM and the Office of the Treasurer fulfilled their joint obligation. Now the legislature must fulfill theirs.”

Legislative fiscal analysts estimated that state government would have to sell at least $1.7 billion in revenues due over the next decade to obtain a $1.3 billion lump-sum payment now. The preliminary, $18.93 billion budget adopted last September for 2010-11 includes that $1.3 billion payment on its revenue schedule.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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