The Mirror’s budget tracking tool is designed to show how the governor and legislators built a spending and tax plan for the upcoming two fiscal years, while dealing with projected deficits of more than $1 billion. There were proposals to cut in programs in health care, social services, municipal aid, public safety, arts and culture, job training programs, libraries and prisons — and to raise income, corporation and other taxes.

The budget-writing process

The state budget comes together through a three-step process: The governor proposes a budget, legislators issue their own plan, and then the administration and legislators negotiate a final deal.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed his budget in February, aiming to close a projected deficit of $1.3 billion through both spending cuts and tax increases. Republicans — who hold the minority in both chambers of the General Assembly — issued their own proposal April 24. The Appropriations Committee — which is controlled by Democrats — released its spending plan three days later.

And members of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee — also controlled by Democrats — released their revenue proposal April 29.

The House and Senate approved the budget June 3, but made adjustments to it during a June 29 special session. Malloy signed the budget and adjustments June 30.

How to use this tool

Below, you’ll find a list of the significant proposed cuts and tax increases in each proposal and the cuts and tax hikes that made it into the final budget. You can click on specific items to see details, and compare how each item would fare under each proposal and in the final budget.

We’re still gathering information on funding levels for some items in the final budget, so you’ll see some blank spaces. We’ll fill those in as soon as we can.

The big picture

The third tab in the chart shows you some key details: The size of the total budget and any fine print. For example, Malloy’s proposal exceeded the state’s spending cap, while the GOP proposal relied on significant labor savings that could require getting state employee unions to agree to concessions or making large numbers of layoffs.

The Appropriations Committee’s proposal, meanwhile, came in $514 million higher than the governor’s plan and relied on a radical new interpretation of the state’s spending cap. The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee’s plan called for $1.8 billion in additional taxes over the next two years.

And the final budget raises revenues by nearly $1.8 billion over two years.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

Jan Ellen is CT Mirror's regular freelance Environment and Energy Reporter. As a freelance reporter, her stories have also appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yale Climate Connections, and elsewhere. She is a former editor at The Hartford Courant, where she handled national politics including coverage of the controversial 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She was an editor at the Gazette in Colorado Springs and spent more than 20 years as a TV and radio producer at CBS News and CNN in New York and in the Boston broadcast market. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended Boston University’s graduate film program.

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.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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