The 2017 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourned without an agreement being reached on a state budget. There remains a $5.1 billion projected budget deficit for the next biennium. We are now convened in a special session, and we are at a point where the governor has issued his first executive order to run the state in the absence of a budget.
Unlike the federal government, there is no shutdown of state government when such an impasse occurs. However, power shifts to the governor for the operation of the state, and spending is restricted to expenditures that are necessary to the operation of state government.
This has happened before – as recently as 2009 when Governor Jodi Rell had to run the state’s expenses for two months until a budget was finally authorized.
This is certainly no way to run state government, and I am hopeful that all sides can find an agreement and pass a responsible budget. We were prepared on Thursday, June 29th, to go into a session and vote on a budget, however majority Democrats in the House refused to take action, perpetuating our budget crisis.
For my part, I will only support a budget that respects our towns and cities’ education grants, and does not pull the rug out from under them long after their local budgets have been passed because the state can’t properly manage its business.
Also, I will not support a budget that raises taxes and fees on our already over-taxed residents and businesses. It is clear now more than ever after the governor’s two massive tax hikes in 2011 and 2015, that tax increases have done far more damage than good in restoring our economy and jobs.
I will be sure to keep you up to date on developments at the Capitol. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have.