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CT Budget Quagmire

Our state STILL does not have a budget!

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The Connecticut Legislature has not adopted a budget for the biennium, having missed the deadline of June 30, 2017. State Government is now running under an Executive Order, which allows funds to be spent, but does not allow revenue to be raised. As of June 30, the state budget deficit was projected to exceed $5 billion. The Executive Order makes cuts to several services areas including hospitals, non-profits and municipalities.

On July 31, the legislature passed the concessions package with the state employee unions, reducing state labor costs by $1.57 billion over the course of the next two years. Now, they are struggling to find a path towards resolving the remaining $3.5 billion deficit. There are obstacles in the path towards a majority vote in both chambers: education funding, social services funding, and the lack of an appetite to raise taxes. These factors, plus the close party margin in the House (79 Democrats – 72 Republicans), and the Senate being tied with 18 members from each party, are all root causes of there being no state budget agreement.

While the legislative leaders continue to meet, identifying middle ground has been a challenge, and there is no end in sight to the stale-mate. Most political insiders do not anticipate a new budget until Fall at the earliest.

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