- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office announced Friday it is planning more than $102 million in new cuts to keep the state’s $20 billion budget in balance.

Benjamin Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, said recent losses in the stock market have cut into anticipated state income and corporate tax revenue, making the $102,750,661 in cuts necessary.

The 2015-16 budget anticipated a 7.1 percent growth in state revenues, but Barnes says the administration now believes that figure will be closer to 4.4 percent.

“It would be reckless to expect these revenues to grow when the S&P; 500 is down more than 6 percent since May,” Barnes said.

The governor is ordering $99.2 million in cuts to Executive Branch agencies.

Barnes said about $63.4 million would come from the Department of Social Services in the form of state Medicaid payments to hospitals, a plan that drew immediate criticism from The Connecticut Hospital Association.

“With nearly one in five Connecticut residents on Medicaid, withdrawing even more funding from the state’s obligation is outrageous,” the group said.

Other cuts include $8.4 million from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and $7.6 million from the Department of Developmental Services.

The University of Connecticut will see $3.8 million in cuts, including $1.4 million to the UConn Health Center. The state university system will have its budget cut by $3.5 million.

Malloy has the authority to cut up to 5 percent of the amount allocated to individual state agencies in the state budget.

He cannot cut the budgets of the other two branches of government, but on Friday asked legislative leaders to reduce spending in that branch by $420,000 and is requesting the Judicial Branch reduce spending by $3.1 million.

The administration said it is not planning any job cuts.

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle expressed anger over the cuts.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said the rescissions are likely to adversely impact the delivery of health care in the state and promised the Legislature would look to mitigate the cuts during its next session.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, called for a special legislative session next week to deal with the problem.

“Anyone who cares about children, about health care, and about services for our most vulnerable residents should be shouting from the rooftops,” he said.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide