Malloy miscalculates necessary budget cuts in proposal

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HARTFORD–After presenting a budget last week that Gov. Dan Malloy said was full of tough choices, more are ahead.

On Tuesday, the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, Ben Barnes, sent out an email saying there was a discrepancy caused by a miscalculation in personal income data. The adjustment put the proposed budget over the state’s spending cap by $60 million.

Wednesday the governor reacted. “It’s an honest mistake.  We caught it, we brought it forward, we put the release out,” said Malloy.

Now $54 million needs to be cut to stay within the spending cap.

“We’re going to have to get back to work and look for additional savings, but I know it’s something we can do,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk).

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) believes it was a mistake, but he says there is a hard reality. “I’m kind of happy that it happened after the budget went out because if it happened before they would have just hid the fact that they were above the cap by playing some kind of gimmick.” said Fasano. “Now we have to really look at this issue.”

Fasano, along with other Republicans, sent a letter to Barnes Wednesday afternoon. They believe it’s the governor’s responsibility to suggest the cuts, not the legislature’s.

“That’s his constitutional obligation to give the legislature a balanced budget within the spending cap and one can argue that he failed to do so,” said Fasano. “I think they should find the cuts, they should tell us how they’re going to balance the budget that’s their obligation.”

Malloy disagrees, saying he’s met his obligations.

“That’s not what the law says, the law says we have to present a balanced budget,” said Malloy. “It doesn’t say that we have to present a budget that stays within the cap and at this point we’ve moved the budget to the legislature, let’s hear what their ideas are.”

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