Heading into the Feb. 8 start of the 2012 legislative session it is clear that pushing Connecticut’s finances toward solid ground should be the focus of each and every state representative and senator. Consider these recent developments under the “shared sacrifice” umbrella opened last year through Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget:
State Treasurer Denise Nappier in a Jan. 3 report wrote that the state’s cash on hand had hit record low amounts despite the governor’s imposition last summer of historic new tax increases—including a retroactive hike on income. The available cash was enough to cover only two and one-half days of expenses. Our state treasurer also noted that Connecticut had to borrow money to pay for operating expenses.
The governor’s budget office and the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis on Jan. 16 agreed on consensus budget figures that indicated revenues for the coming fiscal year were off by nearly $140 million, and that spending was more than $104 million more than budgeted.
The poor financial news continued Friday, when the governor’s budget chief bristled at—and downplayed—word about a downgrade to Connecticut’s debt rating by a major, well-established agency.
We cannot afford to overlook Connecticut’s substantial budget problems. We cannot afford the type of fiscal policies enacted over the last year, either, because last week we saw proof that they just don’t work.
I look forward to returning to the Capitol early next month to tackle these problems. As always, I urge you to contact my office with your ideas, questions or concerns.