Gov. Dannel Malloy
Already facing shortfalls in the budget he presented last month, Governor Dannel Malloy said Wednesday that it’s now in the hands of state lawmakers.
“The law is very clear, the budget I have to present is balanced, and it is balanced. We’ve met our legal requirement,” Malloy said, speaking on WNPR’s Where We Live.
But Malloy’s budget comes with big cuts to higher education and social services , and met heavy opposition from educators last week. He also proposed deferring some $200 million in tax cuts proposed last year during his re-election campaign.
Malloy said his plan is to phase in a lowering the sales tax over the next few years to make up for that tax relief that won't happen now. He also said that the budget cuts are "tough" but necessary, given a looming state budget shortfall of roughly $3 billion over the next two years.
“Here I sit, I get banged up because we’re not making cuts. I get banged up because we’re not raising taxes. I get banged up because we’re raising taxes. I understand, it’s the job I ran for.” Malloy said.
Many advocates for social service providers have been calling for a higher tax rate for the top income earners in the state. But Malloy said he would not support legislation that would raise taxes on families making over $500,000. He deferred again to the legislature.
“I am not advocating it, and I’m unlikely to support it, but I’d have to see what the legislators put on my desk,” Malloy said.
Malloy's budget chief Ben Barnes warned in December that Connecticut might have entered a "permanent fiscal crisis." Malloy said that while there's some reality to that claim, he "wouldn't have put it that way."
“Revenues are not growing as rapidly as expenses are. I think that’s been true over the past five years, and likely is to be true over the next five years,” Malloy said.
Ryan King is an intern at WNPR.