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“With all due respect to the new governor and state legislature, this kind of a structural shift has implications that will extend far beyond the best intentions of present leadership," says Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal.
Lamont’s budget has two tolling scenarios – truck-only and cars and trucks. The governor estimates that out-of-state drivers could provide over 40 percent of the state’s tolling revenue.
Lamont has announced some of the legislative proposals he will include in his first state budget, as well as a proposal to shrink the state’s borrowing by 39 percent, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
"No more funny math or budgetary gamesmanship,” the new governor told the legislature. “Don’t tell me some consultant says there are $1 billion in easy spending cuts -- show me the money or I will show you the door.”
Gov.-elect Ned Lamont is inheriting an estimated budget deficit of $1.73 billion for fiscal 2020.
“It is still very early in the fiscal year and so the state should only rely cautiously on these positive early indicators,” Comptroller Kevin Lembo wrote.
Reductions in service that had been scheduled to take effect on July 1 have been canceled. The state will still "need to find new, long-term funding sources to replace dwindling gas tax revenues," Gov. Dannel Malloy said. "This should not be seen as optional – it’s critical to Connecticut’s future.”
Leaving the budget reserve fund at $1.16 billion by the end of Fiscal Year 2019 “is significantly below what is needed to meet the challenges of the next recession, which, by many measures, is overdue," the governor said.
"The legislature once again focused on short-term budget fixes rather than on long-term structural reform," said Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth co-chairs Robert Patricelli and Jim Smith.
The new budget gives municipalities $70.5 million more in fiscal year 2018-19 than they received this year. The bipartisan budget will now go to Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is expected to sign it.
Gov. Malloy said that the state GOP is "all out of ideas," while the Senate Republican President Pro Tempore said the governor "is quick to criticize without even understanding what our budget does."
"Gov. Malloy’s leadership only brings fiscal disaster," said Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano.
Gioia made his remarks at a Jan. 17 Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, which also featured State Sen. Bob Duff and State Rep. Themis Klarides repeatedly butting heads.