If governor leads by executive order, Cheshire, Wallingford and Southington are in trouble

If governor leads by executive order, Cheshire, Wallingford and Southington are in trouble


On June 30 the legislature, the people’s voice at the state Capitol, loses significant power over the state budget. As of July 1, Gov. Malloy has sole authority over the budget up until the legislature can approve an alternative.

If we allow Gov. Dan Malloy to lead by executive order, Cheshire, Wallingford and Southington are in serious trouble.

The governor has been clear about his budget plans. He presented the budget back in February and updated it this month. In fact, I vehemently opposed it in front of the legislature’s Finance Committee.

Gov. Malloy’s budget would cut $700 million to cities and towns. That may save money on the state budget, but it will directly impact your property taxes, playing a shell game with your hard earned dollars.

What does that mean for our towns? A nearly $22 million cut in state money coming to Cheshire over the course of the two-year Malloy budget. A more than $28 million cut over two-years to Wallingford. And a more than $12 million cut for Southington ... And that includes money for schools, money for seniors, and money to reimburse for state property (PILOT).

The governor’s budget includes his proposal to make towns fund a chunk of teachers pensions. In his proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Cheshire would be on the hook for $3.4 million; Wallingford, $5.1 million; and Southington, $6.1 million. Shifting the burden of the state budget crisis to property taxpayers is not a real solution.

A month-by-month budget would equal the end of bonding. $1.5 billion in current bond obligations will disappear and there will be no state funding for school construction. Cheshire is looking to build a new middle school; we can kiss it goodbye, or foot the entire bill ourselves.

This is not fiction; this is what will happen if the General Assembly does not approve a two-year budget by June 30. We all need to understand the very real consequences ahead. It is critical that leadership meet on the budget, day and night, before we lose all control on July 1.

A failure to reach a budget is tacit submission. And staking out ideological ultimatums is equivalent to giving up.

Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter have set the right tone. They tell us to take the “D’s” and “R’s” off our jerseys and replace them with a “C” for Connecticut. We must do what is right by our state, by our taxpayers, by our children, regardless of political party.

Budgets are a reflection of our values. I’m fighting for a budget which reduces the overreliance on property taxes, eliminates wasteful spending and includes a long-term vision for our state while preserving education funds for our children.

I will be holding an emergency state budget meeting, open to the public, in-district before June 30, where we can share ideas and strategize. I need your input. I will post to my Facebook page @RepLinehan when I have the details.

Liz Linehan represents the 103rd House District of Cheshire, Southington and Wallingford in the Connecticut General Assembly.

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