OK, I know this might not be as easy and fun as yesterday's show on comic books, but if the current state budget were a comic book, it would be about a dystopian future. (And present for that matter ...)
The state constitution requires that the budget be balanced by Friday. It isn't. The plan for doing that included significant givebacks by the state employees. They wouldn't do it.
The question asked by an exasperated state legislator at an informational hearing last week was the one posed frequently, if not publicly, at the state Capitol about Connecticut's always-in-a-hurry governor: "Why can't this wait?" The query, by Rep. Roberta Willis, D-Salisbury, concerned Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's fast-track plan to remake the UConn Health Center, but it could have applied to any major initiative, beginning with the budget.
On today's Politics, Burgers & Beer, Connecticut state Comptroller Kevin Lembo joins Faith, Rich Hanley, and the New Haven Independent's Paul Bass for the full hour. We'll talk Connecticut's fiscal/budget/labor situation, and we'd love it if you'd join the conversation: 203 776-WNPR. Live at 3pm!
It almost sounds too good to be true: state budget officials, who already saw revenues surge by nearly $400 million over the past month, now say anticipated savings in retired worker health care costs have grown by some $100 million in the same period.
And though Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo said his office was somewhat conservative in assessing the account that it controls, he added that a number of factors made the $117.4 million savings--equal to nearly 20 percent of the entire annual allocation--difficult to predict before now.
Mayors and first selectmen from around the state will gather at the Capitol Wednesday to urge legislators to not slash state aid to municipalities.
As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the lobby day coincidentally comes just after Governor Dannel Malloy unveiled a contingency plan that would target municipal aid if concessions from labor groups aren't met.