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$400 Million Budget Gap to be Filled Primarily With Surplus Funds

by Christine Stuart and Hugh McQuaid | May 27, 2011 8:52pm
(11) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: State Budget, State Capitol

Hugh McQuaid Photo

House Minority Leader Larry Cafero and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced late Friday night that he and the legislature’s Democratic leadership arrived at a plan to fill the $400 million budget gap, which relies on increases in revenues more than spending cuts.

That plan consists of about $80 million in spending cuts over the next two years and uses about $320 million of surplus funds.

Republicans wasted no time before saying, told you so.

“Classic Malloy,” House Minority Leader Larry Cafero said standing in the Capitol press room less than an hour after the press release hit email boxes.

“He says one thing, does the other. Says one thing, does the other. There isn’t a real cut in this page, I don’t believe,” he said.

Democratic lawmakers had a different take.

“Once again, Governor Malloy has kept his promises,” House Speaker Chris Donovan said. “This plan continues to protect cities and towns, it keeps the safety net intact while making additional cuts, and it brings financial stability to our state.”

Since Malloy released his proposed budget Republicans have criticized the governor for raising taxes $1.4 billion while maintaining an operating surplus of close to a billion dollars over two years.

On Friday night Cafero and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney claimed the governor had said he would close the $400 million gap by cutting spending.

However, on a conference call with reporters Malloy’s budget director Ben Barnes said the governor said no such thing.

“He never said that. He said the $400 million gap would be made up with a mix of spending cuts and revised revenue estimates,” he said.

Barnes said the decision to rely mostly on surplus funds was a compromise intended to honor commitments to local governments, the state’s social safety net, and state employees.

“In a perfect world we wouldn’t have had to make that decision, we thought it was the best decision available to us,” he said.

But Republicans said it was Malloy’s plan from the beginning to hit up the taxpayers first and keep spending for the next two years higher than spending for this year.

Cafero and McKinney bristled at recent statements from Malloy, saying Republicans should support the budget because the surplus they referenced would be used for things conservatives have called for in the past. The governor had said the additional funds would go to paying down the state’s debt, instituting Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and replenishing the “Rainy Day Fund.”

“He said that because we challenged what he would do with the surplus and he was adamant and steadfast that we should support him,” McKinney said.

Barnes said the surplus funds will still be used for all the things they planned to use it for including the transition to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. There will just be less of it to use.

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(11) Comments

posted by: SJAY | May 27, 2011  9:39pm

Rush Limbaugh was/is right!!!  I never thought I’d say that, but in this context I would.  Gov. Malloy has gotten the Republicans at the Capitol so twisted like pretzels that pretty soon they may not be able to find their way to the bathroom.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | May 28, 2011  12:19am

DrHunterSThompson

Surplus = no concessions

Right?

posted by: Disgruntled | May 28, 2011  6:54am

It is not Repulican vs. Democrate.
It is honest leasdership vs dishomest leadership.
Always has been and always will be.
Dan got his tax increases.That was his bottom line.

posted by: ohmygoodness | May 28, 2011  7:20am

Surplus??...Oh NOW there is surplus money !!?  Let’s hope the Unions vote NO !!! Enough already !

posted by: DumpMalloy | May 28, 2011  9:02am

Lies, smoke, and mirrors. Smoke and Mirrors. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Malloy, Barnes and his other cronies are quickly burning down this state. Nobody wants to stay here let alone move here.

posted by: meridenite | May 28, 2011  6:06pm

It’s all been a scam and if the unions say no then cuts will be made to aid to cities/towns and property taxes will soar.

posted by: hawkeye | May 28, 2011  8:36pm

Legislative Democrats are using crooked business ib a hasily written budget bill—which eliminates mandatory jail time for chronic drunken drivers while giving many inmates, including pdophiles and violent offenders, the posibility of early release while behind bars. 

Those provisions, and others, were “secretely” in serted into a large “implementer bill—A TYPE OF LEGISLATION THAT POWERS THE GOVERNOR’S TWO-YEAR BUDGET PLAN.

Some measures of the bill had previously failed in the more public committee process, according to State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-14).

“To cover gaps in the state budget and hide unpopular public policy, amond other things, eroded the great work many-anti-drunk driving advocates have done over the years,”  Klarides said.

This bill puts the power to determine how a sentence will be carried out in the hands of a political trainee.  Not only is this bad public policy, its just the wrong way to go about it,” said Klarides.

Democrats approved the measure, H.B. 6650, by a 93-52 vote, deflecting criticism over questionable savings in their union concession package and scrambling to balance their controversial “balanced” budget.

posted by: ... | May 28, 2011  8:51pm

...

If GAAP accounting were immediately applicable to this budget, we wouldn’t have a surplus. We’d still have a 1.5 billion dollar deficit atop the 3.5 we have at our face value.

But when you’re forced to play with old, inefficient Capitol rules (that both sides love to use/abuse), might as well play a round before you kill it off.

posted by: Noteworthy | May 29, 2011  5:56pm

Dan Malloy is a liar and so is Barnes. I watched Malloy’s lips when he announced the union agreement that used bogus savings from employees and other funky numbers to arrive at a $1.6 billion. It’s more like a billion and that’s only achieved by freezing salaries. The bottom line is what the bottom line has always been: Dan Malloy and his lap dog Barnes are forcing taxpayers to cough up the money to keep state government afloat. It has nothing to do with cuts. Malloy can’t even tell the truth about the $400 million. Pathetic.

posted by: hawkeye | May 30, 2011  11:32am

Noteworthy:  If anyone thinks that Gov. D. P. Malloy and “his political mafia” are friends—then they have no enemies!”

Malloy is in process of dismantling this state, beyond repair—because voters liked a person “who lies a lot!”

posted by: hawkeye | June 8, 2011  10:36pm

Although Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was very careless with the truth, in his promises to get elected as Governor, his massive taxation, smoke and mirrors unfinished phony budget, and a billion dollars more in spending IS NO LIE!

However, Malloy never did campaign as “Honest Dan!”
And he dropped using “Dan,” after he was elected.

Voters wanted a lifetime career politician, and Malloy lived up to his Stamford “Mr. Politics background!”