The Latest: Rating agency: Budget impasse impacting towns
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s latest revised budget proposal and legislative budget talks. (all times local):
A national bond rating agency is flagging 26 Connecticut cities and towns, as well as three regional school districts, to be reviewed for possible downgrades.
Moody’s Investors Services on Monday also assigned “negative outlooks” to ratings for 25 additional communities and three regional school districts, blaming the continuing state budget impasse.
Moody’s notes how the state has historically provided cities and towns with significant amounts of funding, largely education grants. But without a new two-year budget in place, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is running state government using his limited executive spending authority. That has meant a significant drop in state funding.
Moody’s says it highlights “the ongoing vulnerability” of funding the state provides its’ local governments.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says Moody’s action will have a devastating impact.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s latest budget offering is receiving tepid reviews as Connecticut legislative leaders resume efforts to reach their own bipartisan two-year budget agreement.
Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano thanked the Democratic governor for releasing another retooled, two-year, $41.25 billion budget on Monday. But he says “it’s obvious” the plan will not pass in its current form. Fasano says it includes “devastating cuts to certain core services” and shifts state expenses onto municipalities.
Fasano and his fellow top Republican and Democratic leaders are continuing nearly two weeks of closed-door budget talks in hopes of reaching a bipartisan agreement. The lawmakers say they’ll review Malloy’s revised budget, which he calls “bare bones” and includes ideas from both parties.
It also scraps some controversial tax proposals, including a cellphone surcharge.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has released a fourth version of his state budget proposal, in hopes of helping the General Assembly finally pass a two-year tax-and-spending plan he can sign into law.
The Democrat said Monday his latest plan reduces spending by an additional $150 million over the two years. Connecticut’s main spending account, the general fund, would be $18.3 billion in the first fiscal year, which actually began on July 1.
Malloy calls his proposal “a lean, no-frills, no-nonsense budget.” He says it also eliminates some unpopular tax increases included in an earlier compromise budget he reached with fellow Democrats.
Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have been meeting in recent days without Malloy to reach a bipartisan agreement. Malloy has said he’s frustrated by their slow pace.