Gov. Ned Lamont unveils his two year budget proposal a week from today, and despite the economic damage of the pandemic, and the state’s crippling long-term obligations, he’s doing it from a relative position of strength. Connecticut has been the beneficiary of higher-than-expected tax revenues, which have wiped out the short term budget deficit, and the state still has $3.1 billion socked away in the “rainy day fund.”
But many advocates and progressive Democrats want to spend down reserves to help state residents struggling through the pandemic, and provide tax relief for poor and middle class residents. And long-term debt and other obligations mean the state’s short-term rosy picture is just a little bit cloudier.
CT Mirror budget reporter Keith Phaneuf breaks down the status of the state budget in a conversation taped as part of our series of legislative preview events. We talk about some Democrats’ plans to tax wealthy residents, and Lamont’s rejection of that idea. And Keith explains just how deep a hole the state is facing – down the road.