Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has signed an executive order to keep state government open without a new two-year budget deal. The new fiscal year begins tomorrow, but the legislature could not come together to pass a full biennial budget.
That means Malloy must now make decisions about what services to fund while legislators try again to reach a deal.
He said cuts will go into effect at midnight Friday.
“Specifically my focus will be on protecting services for our most vulnerable,” he told a news conference Friday afternoon. “The mentally ill, the developmentally disabled and others who simply cannot care for themselves. And to be clear even these services will need to be scaled back in one form or another. Other very important functions of state government will need to be cut even more or eliminated entirely.”
Malloy said he will be faced with tough choices.
“Areas like economic development, transportation, and aid for municipalities are all things I support, but which will see deep cuts if we do not pass a new budget in the very near future,” he said.
Democratic leaders in the House said they have a budget that they intend to try to bring to a vote on July 18. But Malloy said he’s skeptical that can happen -- he described their budget as having “more holes than Swiss cheese.”
The document relies on a hike in the sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.99 percent. Republican leaders have said they cannot support a budget that contains significant tax increases.
Malloy said the parties will be back in talks next week. He had originally hoped to pass what he termed a “mini budget” to tide the state over until a full two-year deal could be hammered out, but legislators declined to bring it to a vote, leaving the governor to rely on the executive order.