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Malloy signs executive order to keep state funded while budget talks continue

HARTFORD — Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that due to legislative inaction on a budget to take effect at the start of the fiscal year Saturday, he has signed an executive order to ensure the continued, efficient operation of state government until a new, two-year state budget has been signed into law.  In addition, the Governor delivered the following prepared remarks during a news conference this afternoon at the State Capitol regarding the executive order:

“Given that the legislature did not act on either a two-year budget or a short-term solution, I today exercised the limited authorities granted to me as Governor and signed an executive order that will allow state government to operate in the absence of an adopted budget.

“This is a regrettable path, and one that I worked very hard to avoid.  The executive order offers me less ability to avoid very deep cuts that will have a very real impact on our state and its citizens.

“Nevertheless, I want to assure the public that my administration will manage our finances during this period in a thoughtful and responsible way.  Specifically, my focus will be on protecting services for our most vulnerable: the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, and others who simply cannot care for themselves.  And to be clear, even these services will need to be scaled back in one form or another.

“In order to do this – in order to protect those who most need our help – other very important functions of state government will need to be cut even more, or eliminated entirely.  Areas like economic development, transportation, and aid for municipalities are all things I support, but which will see deep cuts if we do not pass a new budget in the very near future.

“Now, I want to focus on where we go from here.

“First, I do not doubt that we can and will get through this.  Connecticut’s elected leaders will come together, and we will adopt a full, biennial budget.  My administration will continue working every day towards that end – towards a budget that makes the necessary structural changes to achieve balance, now and into the future.

“I know that there are legislators who share this hope and vision.  For the past six years as Governor, I have worked with the legislature, and together, we have negotiated budgets and passed them into law. In every instance, it involved compromise on all sides, including my own.  I have consistently demonstrated that I am ready to work and ready to find common ground.  That has not changed.

“I do need the legislature to act as a partner in this effort.  In those same six years, this was the first time the General Assembly failed to pass a full budget out of committee, or failed to send a budget to my desk before the end of the fiscal year.  I am not laying the blame for our current circumstances solely at their feet – but our constitutional process necessitates action on their part. I need them to send me a budget.

“To get there, we all need to check our egos, partisanship, and gamesmanship at the door when we enter the room to negotiate this budget.  In order to deliver on our promise for more predictability and stability for the people of our state, all parties must be ready to roll-up our sleeves and be prepared to meet one another halfway.

“This will not be an easy process, but important things rarely are.  State leaders have a lot of very tough work ahead.   And the cuts in state services that will take effect at midnight tonight will not be painless on the people of Connecticut.

“I regret that our state is in this position.  But I promise you this – I will not stop working to deliver a balanced, fiscally responsible budget for the people of Connecticut.  And until that happens, I will not stop working to support and protect our citizens with every tool at my disposal.”