HARTFORD– Gov. Malloy and Democratic lawmakers resorted to budgetary gimmicks today to balance the state budget by raiding transportation funds, borrowing for operating expenses and cutting programs and services, less than one year after they rammed through the largest tax increase in state history, State Representative Sean Williams (R- Oakville) said today.
“Everything the Governor said he wouldn’t do- especially borrowing to pay operating expenses- he is doing with this budget,” said Williams, the House Republicans leader on the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. “When Governor Malloy took office I was encouraged by his desire to deal with the state budget responsibly and transparently. As it turns out that promise was all rhetoric and empty promises. I’m disappointed.”
Williams said the Democrats’ budget completely ignores newly revised revenue estimates which show the state budget deficit is now at $285 million, thereby building into future budgets even greater deficits. He noted that the revenue projections are now at least $300 million less than when the budget was adopted.
Malloy also intends to reduce payments to the Teachers’ Retirement Health Care fund by paying for it out of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund. This will increase the unfunded liability within the teachers’ pension funds.
“This isn’t sound fiscal policy; it isn’t the way people run their own budgets at home when times are tight. This is a shell game,’ Williams added. “Over spending is the root cause of our budget woes and, until we fix that, it will be difficult to achieve lasting fiscal stability. We didn’t do that today.”
Additionally, the budget would divert $220 million in debt payments to cover this year’s deficit as well as swipe $70 million from the Special Transportation Fund by taking $30 million from Town Road Aid, delaying bond sales and reducing the STF balance.
Williams said he fears today’s gimmicks and budget tricks will mean deeper deficit in future fiscal years and, likely, more taxes.
The fiscal year ends on June 30th.