Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s transportation rebuilding program took several hits this past legislative session as the governor sought to entice legislators to accept more long-term spending cuts.
The tentative plan to close a $1 billion hole in Connecticut’s finances starting July 1 also would wipe away more than 40 percent of the red ink threatening state government after the November elections, nonpartisan fiscal analysts reported Tuesday evening.
As the legislative session’s final hours tick down, here’s an updated look at how each side would balance the nearly $1 billion budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year.
The General Assembly is expected to vote before it adjourns May 4 on a plan that would cancel more than $1.1 billion in financing earmarked for an enormous array of purposes in both the public and private sectors, including renovating the leaking, flaking dome of UConn’s Gampel Pavilion.
Leaders insist their blueprint would close massive future deficits without tax hikes. To do that, though, the GOP minorities in the House and Senate would dilute the two big initiatives Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Democratic majority launched last June: a 30-year investment in transportation and a plan to share sales tax receipts with cities and towns.
As the state budget process unfolds for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, this tool is designed to help you track how specific programs, places and issues fare in each proposal – and in the final budget.
Supporters said air travelers were packed into planes “like sardines.” The airlines said making seats wider and giving passengers more legroom would force them to raise fares.
After watching his fellow Democrats in the legislature unveil a budget that undermined — or even rejected — some of his biggest objectives, including the need to avoid tax hikes, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will take an unconventional step next week to refocus his party. The governor, who traditionally begins the annual fiscal debate in early February with his own spending and revenue plan, will submit a second budget next week.
Updated at 5:18 p.m.
The legislature’s Appropriations Committee adopted a new $19.9 billion budget plan Wednesday, that Democratic leaders insisted restores fairness to a fiscal system that has cut too heavily from social services, health care and education – even though the overall plan is out of balance. Republicans pronounced it a failure.
Though all indications are that many state employees will receive pink slips soon, several factors make it difficult for Connecticut to downsize its workforce. And those same factors and others make it all-but-impossible to close the major budget deficits projected for the next few years with layoffs alone.
While legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy scramble to close yet another hole in the current state budget, the exercise could help them solve a much larger problem. Depending on how they solve this fiscal year’s $220 million deficit — a task lawmakers have pledged to complete Tuesday — the $900 million hole built into 2016-17 finances could be whittled down by nearly one-quarter.
State transportation officials want to widen I-95 and introduce congestion or time-of-day tolling on it, to both reduce congestion and raise revenue for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s massive 30-year transportation plan. But there’s plenty of opposition to the widening, and if it can’t be resolved, the increasingly daunting challenge of funding the program could become that much more difficult.
It’s been six years since legislators overwhelmingly approved a tax incentive and license fees to encourage schools to buy school buses equipped with seat belts. But not a single school district has used the program, and much of the money put aside has gone to offset state deficits.
Car manufacturers and Connecticut auto retailers pushed back at a bill that would allow electric car makers like Tesla to sell cars in the state without opening a franchise. The bill is being put forward again after being considered last year and dying as the legislative session expired.
After the Senate failed to consider House-backed legislation last session, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, has introduced a bill to allow electric car manufacturers to sell vehicles directly to consumers in Connecticut. The bill has been opposed by car dealers in the state.