The start to the new fiscal year is quickly approaching and lawmakers have yet to pass a budget agreement. So Governor Dannel Malloy is laying out two options for legislative leaders for a path forward after July 1.
The first option is a “Resource Allocation Plan” for operating without a budget. Governor Malloy would have to run the state through executive authority, which has its limits. According to state statute, he cannot add any revenue, so this plan would balance a $2.1 billion shortfall through cuts alone. Those cuts include sharply reducing municipal aid, cutting ECS grants by hundreds of millions and cutting services to some DDS, DMHAS and DOH clients.
The second option is passing a “mini budget” to operate state government until October 1. It avoids some of those painful cuts through $317.5 million in revenue options, including changes to sales tax. It would also buy lawmakers some time.
Legislative Democrats say they won’t have a budget ready for a vote this week, making it more likely Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will have to temporarily run state government using his executive authority.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz had said last week that his rank-and-file members preferred voting Thursday on a new two-year budget before the fiscal year ends Friday. However, a House Democratic spokesman said Tuesday they’ve been unable to reach an agreement, despite last-ditch efforts.
There also does not appear to be enough support for a legislative “continuing resolution” to keep government operating, or the quarterly “mini-budgets” Malloy had unveiled Monday. Instead, it appears more likely Malloy will maintain essential state services using his executive authority.
Legislative Republicans want the General Assembly to pass their budget proposals.