Malloy calls for bipartisan meetings on state budget

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced he is calling for bipartisan meetings on the state budget, with the aim of addressing the short-term budget shortfall while also improving Connecticut’s long-term budget outlook and economic competitiveness.

“With Wall Street on a significant, unpredicted downturn, further tough decisions need to be made,” a press release from the governor’s office said. It added that the talks  could lead to a special session on the budget later this year.

Wilton state Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) has called for a special session “to fix the mess” on numerous occasions.

Malloy also said he will lay out his principles for addressing our budgetary needs in the short-term and beyond next week.

“That means setting priorities and making smart, pragmatic decisions about spending cuts now, so that Connecticut continues to live within its means and keeps its current budget in balance,” the release said. “It also means incorporating common-sense solutions to help state employers grow jobs, which will help keep our economy — and our state budget — on solid ground in the years ahead.”

The governor encouraged leaders of both parties to develop their own realistic and concrete proposals in order to be part of the solution.

“We’ve heard the calls and seen the press releases,” Malloy said. “Now, we’ll have an opportunity for all of us to talk about specific, concrete ideas to move Connecticut forward. We must use the economic reality of the moment to have a real discussion — not just in the Capitol, but across Connecticut — about how we balance our budget this year, while continuing to build and grow for the long-term.  It’s time for all of us to make tough decisions — and make them together.”

Today’s announcement was prompted by new revenue projections from the Office of Policy and Management — sent to Comptroller Kevin Lembo today — identifying an approximately $120-million revenue shortfall, which amounts to roughly half of one percent of the overall budget. As a result, the governor is calling for bipartisan discussions not just among leaders, but among citizens as well. That discussion will include steps state leaders will undertake to get spending under control in the short-term, while improving the business climate in the long-run.