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Connecticut Budget Crisis Could 'Devastate' Towns

Town leaders at a meeting this week said they're worried the deepening budget problems, which include a growing deficit that is expected to balloon to more than $1 billion next year, will mean cuts in town aid.

 

Town leaders are beginning to fret about Connecticut's growing budget problems, raising concerns that the growing deficit—now projected to balloon to more than $1 billion next year—could mean reductions in town aid that the state makes each year to Connecticut's 169 towns.

In a meeting Thursday of the Housatonic Valley Council of towns, municipal leaders learned that the measures being considered by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to balance the budget could bring steep cuts in state municipal aid, according to the News Times of Danbury.

Most towns in Connecticut each get tens of millions in education and road funds from the state each year and town leaders for years have complained that cutbacks in that aid have already strained local budgets and have forced higher local property taxes. Any additional cuts would be devastating to local communities and could result in layoffs in local school systems, the News Times quoted local leaders as saying.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has already cut $170 million in spending in late November, which is the maximum allowed by a governor without legislative approval. 

Richard May December 08, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Of course. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Local government needs to determine what is truly important to its residents and become more self-reliant. All that State and Federal "infrastructure" funding looks great until the communities are obliged to bear the cost of maintaining it.
Cort Wrotnowski December 08, 2012 at 05:47 PM
The CT tea party has been loudly warning people about this since day one. We are so glad that others have finally woken up. while you are still busy rubbing your eyes, we will tell you (again, for the millionth time) that 36 years of control by the Democrats in the state legislature has brought us to this brink. Getting a democrat governor merely accelerated the crisis. Answer? Chuck the democrats and start again with a state government that brings back business in a serious way. CT cannot be the welfare state it is. Suck money out of the towns? Impoverish the towns? Don't you get it? Malloy makes CT into one big Bridgeport.
Haden Listerbroom December 08, 2012 at 07:15 PM
The key is to protect state workers defined benefit pensions no matter what. Even if we have to cut every service provided by the state, shut down schools, sell the state troopers vehicles, close the train...whatever it takes.
Richard May December 08, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Sounds like a great idea, but I don't think today's and future taxpayers will buy into that philosophy. Everyone's lifestyle is up for grabs.
Richard May December 08, 2012 at 07:24 PM
This is beyond party politics. There is no "better angel" when it comes to the gross mismanagement of our Towns and Cities. Both parties have had plenty of time to demonstrate that they are out of touch with reality.
david motay December 09, 2012 at 12:19 AM
So this is new news ???
Cort Wrotnowski December 09, 2012 at 06:46 AM
Richard, you don't know what it means to be in charge in the state legislature. You get to decide what laws to vote on, and what laws to ignore. Connecticut has become a hugely corrupted state. Liberals ruling the roost for 36 years has yielded a dysfunctional state government which has finally hit bottom. It took becoming a state with one of the worst credit ratings "Gov Malloy" to sheepishly ask for help from the GOP. Our credit rating went down an unprecedented two notches in 2011. Now, the state treasurer is saying we need to borrow another $550 million ! So, stop being self-centered and start thinking about how your greed is killing Connecticut. It's the unions sucking the budget dry. There is some outrageous number, like 120, state employees who make more than the governor. It is the greedy unions taking money away from the children. There is outstanding an amendment from the 90s, which managed to get passed AND signed into law. But democrats blocked implementation. This amendment which would have forced fiscal discipline on the state and totally avoided the crisis we are hurtling towards. The pensions? The current obligations should be honored, but starting in 2013, new workers are out of luck and should know as much. First responders, that's one thing. But these paper shuffling pinheads we have are another. They remain a drag on the state's economy. They add no value. They must be dramatically reduced in number.
Richard May December 09, 2012 at 11:49 AM
You are right Cort: "I don't know what it means to be in charge in the state legislature." Furthermore, I don't intend to run for public office. Don't feel that finger-pointing and laying the blame on "liberals," "greedy unions," "democrats," or "paper shuffling pinheads" is going to help us move forward. Seems to me that both major parties have let voters down at the State and National level. I certainly don't expect anything different in the future. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that new leaders with vision and tenacity will emerge at the local level to help rebuild our towns and communities. I certainly will support leaders looking to the future rather than rehashing the past.
Bart Shuldman December 11, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Malloy in just a year has the potential to destroy CT. He is running a huge budget deficit and is running out of cash. He will now probably need to borrow money to pay our bills. All this after raising taxes on almost everyone, including the middle class and instituting 200 new taxes. Malloy did all this while promising no layoffs for 4 years and granting the horrible use of overtime for pension calculations for 11 more years. It has been determined CT's pension liabilities now approach $60 BILLION if they use a realistic 4.5% discount rate. Now Malloy will look to cut money he gives to towns and cities. I predict he will cut money for town roads and education. The net result, your town or city will need to raise property taxes a lot to overcome the lack of funds. Malloy has boxed himself in, with all in CT impacted. He will be forced to cut quickly in order to overcome the huge deficit he has generated. After raising taxes, state revenues actually went down. And savings he promised never materialized. Now Medicare costs are rising, revenues declining, costs going up. Unemployment in CT reached 9%. This is not good. Malloy is destroying CT.
Richard May December 11, 2012 at 07:32 PM
That is the good thing about a Democracy. If the voters decide that Governor Malloy has done a bad job, then they will vote him out - as long as the alternative is perceived to be less bad. I am certainly not one to defend the Governor's performance, but there are a lot of other elected officials in Hartford who should also be held accountable. Let's all share in the blame of electing a dysfunctional government and move forward with realistic solutions to very difficult problems.
Maria Esquivel December 11, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Wait a minute! Did he not raised the tax from 6% to 6.3% to prevent all this? Or is it that he just wanted to make all believe that is for the good of all needy in CT and our poor children would suffer. This is just like the book: If you give a mouse a cookie, chances are....he will want some.... Democrats and liberals really need to understand that if you want money and services, you need to work, and work hard, not attack people with the money that they so much want.
Bart Shuldman December 12, 2012 at 03:04 AM
This Governor made the decision. It was his idea and he drive it thru, even after the unions turned him down he gave away more. No layoffs. He made a horrible decision to grant that without knowing the outcome of his huge tax increase and an economy teetering. He is responsible. Yes some in Hartford are also responsible. But Malloy made this happen.

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