Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Friday afternoon proposed a broad-based list of budget cuts, reducing state spending by another $243 million, in an effort to balance a state budget deficit of $415 million.
Malloy will begin private negotiations with General Assembly leaders of both parties Monday in an effort to come up with a plan that would be considered in a Dec. 19 special legislative session.
Malloy’s proposal includes line-item cuts for dozens of state agencies, but does not include any specifics. For example, the state department of education faces another $13 million reduction, on top of the $8 million in rescissions made last week, but Malloy’s office won’t say what programs may be at risk.
“This won’t be easy, and parts of it will be very difficult,” Malloy said in a press release emailed to reporters Friday afternoon. “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.”
Roy Occhiogrosso, a senior aide to the governor, said Malloy intentionally was not specific on what programs various state agencies should cut. The total cut list of $412 million — the $170.5 million in rescissions Malloy can make under state law and the additional $243 million proposed Friday — roughly matches state Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s budget deficit estimate of $415 million.
“Our folks at [the Office of Policy and Management] have identified areas in the budget where we believe cuts can be made,” said Occhiogrosso. Malloy “put a framework out. He’d like all sides to sit down and come up with specific line items to get to these totals. It’s not a specific list.”
“We believe cuts can be made,” Occhiogrosso said. “We can’t negotiate this in public.”