Malloy unveils latest budget as lawmakers continue talks 

Malloy unveils latest budget as lawmakers continue talks 



HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy presented his revised budget proposal this morning as legislative leaders were gearing for another day of negotiations without him.

Malloy’s $41.26-billion proposal calls for $144.4 million less in spending over the biennium compared to the $41.4-billion deal he struck with Democrats prior to a Sept. 15 budget vote.

The state continues to operate under Malloy’s executive order after he vetoed the $40.7-billion Republican-crafted budget, which the legislature adopted during the Sept. 15 session with support from eight Democrats.

Malloy relaxed his push for changes to municipal aid distributions over the next two years, with total funding for statutory grants coming in at slightly under the $2.57 billion paid out last fiscal year.

Additionally, some towns that saw deep cuts under past proposals — and currently do under the executive order — actually see an increase, while others would see less of a reduction than in past proposals from Malloy.

At the same time, Malloy continues to push for towns to share in the cost of the woefully underfunded teachers’ retirement benefits system.

His latest proposal calls for towns to contribute a combined $281.5 million over the next two years, down from the $400 million annually that he suggested in February but still significantly higher than the compromise he reached a month ago with Democrats.  

The contributions offset changes to municipal aid, something lawmakers have insisted they want to protect.

Meriden, for example, would see a $4 million increase in municipal aid over two years, but would essentially break even when its contributions for teachers pensions are included in calculations.

Southington would also be in-line for a slight bump in municipal aid, but would actually see a loss of $1.3 million in fiscal year 2019 after paying its contribution.

Wallingford’s $5.2-million reduction in municipal aid over two years — an improvement over the $28.5 million cut in Malloy’s May proposal — grows to a roughly $8.8-million if the teachers pension payment is included.

Malloy’s proposal also undoes some of the controversial revenue changes that were included in the deal he reached with Democrats. It doesn’t, for example, include a surcharge on cellphone bills or a new tax on seasonal homes.

Malloy does make other changes to boost revenue, including reducing the earned income tax credit eligibility to 23-percent of the federal benefit, down from the change included in both the Democratic and Republican budgets.

Malloy is scheduled to address reporters at a noon press conference. Be sure to check back for updates.

 

msavino@record-journal.com

203-317-2266

Twitter: @reporter_savino


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