The bill ends a requirement that cities and towns share in the proceeds from video slots from the two casinos in southeastern Connecticut.

For years, state law has said $135 million of the revenue from Foxwoods Resorts Casino and Mohegan Sun should be shared with cities and towns. And for more than a decade, governors and legislatures have – year after year – suspended-but-not repealed that requirement, and then given communities about $62 million.

In fact, the new state budget that takes effect July 1 again gives municipalities $62 million out of $279 million in projected video slot receipts.

So why are Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature now removing the $135 million requirement permanently from state statutes?

Because once the legal requirement to share $135 million is gone, nonpartisan fiscal analysts can no longer count it when calculating the deficit they are tracking in the first state budget after this fall’s state elections.

The 2015-16 fiscal year, according to analysts, has a built-in shortfall of $1.33 billion, or 8 percent. Without the required video slot sharing, that gap falls to about $1.2 billion, or 7 percent.

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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