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News : Local Dec 10, 2012 - 10:44:32 AM

Malloy proposes ‘roadmap to deficit mitigation’

By Governor Dannel P. Malloy

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HARTFORD, CT – Governor Dannel P. Malloy Friday released what he called a “roadmap to a deficit mitigation plan,” saying he hopes the final product will be a bipartisan agreement. Having met with legislative leaders of both parties over the past few days, Governor Malloy said that he is proposing all sides – the Governor’s office, the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), and all four legislative caucuses – begin meeting Monday to try and come to an agreement on a final deficit mitigation plan that would be voted on in a special session, which the Governor called for today by proclamation to convene on December 19, 2012.

Subsection (b) of Connecticut General Statutes 4-85 requires the Governor’s deficit mitigation plan to be submitted to the legislature’s Appropriations and Finance Committees within 30 days of the certification of a deficit greater than one percent of the general fund budget; that certification occurred on December 3.

“It is my hope – and I’ve communicated this to legislative leaders from both parties – that the final plan will be a bipartisan one,” Governor Malloy said. “That’s my goal, and if all sides come to the table in good faith, I’m hopeful we can get it done.”

The roadmap released today represents what the Governor said are “areas in state government where we’ve identified targeted savings that we believe can be achieved. They are broken down by state agency. The line-by-line cuts that will get us to those numbers will be the subject of the negotiations that will begin on Monday.”

Governor Malloy added that at Monday’s meeting, staff from OPM will present a list of specific line item options to be considered, and that all parties will agree to a “target number that needs to be hit.” That number will be produced by agreement between OPM and the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA).

Having made clear over the past few weeks that he will not support a plan that imposes new taxes or a tax increase, Governor Malloy urged everyone to come to the table with “an open mind.”

“We’ve come a long way in a little less than two years,” Governor Malloy said. “We’ve taken a deficit that we inherited from $3.65 billion down to approximately $365 million. That means, in less than 2 years, we’ve addressed 90 percent of the problem it took 20 years to create. That said, it’s also clear we have a ways to go.”

“I urge everyone to come to Monday’s meeting with an open mind. This won’t be easy, and parts of it will be very difficult. We are very mindful of the fact that most of the cuts that will end up being part of the final package will have a real impact on people’s lives, so we want to do this as carefully as possible. But the reality is we have no other choice; spending must be cut.”

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