Wine may soon be on sale in local grocery stores -- just one of the options Governor Dannel Malloy released Wednesday designed to mitigate the Connecticut's projected $208 million budget deficit.
In the proposal are a variety of options to increase revenue or cut spending. They include increasing the sales tax to 6.9 percent, reducing around $3.5 million in funding to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction services, closing the Old State House, and allowing grocery stores to sell wine.
Because the projected deficit has reached more than one percent of the general fund, Malloy has a statutory obligation to put together a mitigation package. He also told legislators that failing to take decisive action will make the cost to taxpayers and damage to government services even more severe.
"...I agree these changes are difficult and that in better economic times, with a balanced budget, none of us would put them on the table for consideration," Malloy said in a statement. "However, I have a clear statutory obligation to provide you with a plan to mitigate the deficit."
House Democrat Matt Ritter doesn't support the proposed cut to "Care 4 Kids" which is something he fought for. It's a child care program for kids from low-income families sponsored by the Office of Early Childhood.
"At first blush, those were a couple of things we're going to have to have conversations about," Ritter said. "But, I would also say that the governor's got to go first. He's got to put out a plan. Everybody knows these things get negotiated and so no one's drawn a line in the sand."
Malloy said the options could actually net Connecticut $303 million in total reduction. In a perfect world, that would mean a surplus of $95 million.