In her five-minute televised appearance on Feb. 2 just two days before she unveiled her two-year, $38.4 billion budget proposal to the General Assembly, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said the “deficit we are facing this current fiscal year, which ends June 30, is nearly $1 billion. The red ink for the next two years, the period covered by my proposed budget, is nearly $8 billion.”
But just two days later, Rell unveiled a budget which closed a $6 billion hole with deep spending cuts and no tax increases. Did she intentionally forget about the other $2 billion?
In an interview Friday at the Hartford Marriott, she told reporters she “never withheld anything intentionally,” adding that the Democratic majority should “stop complaining and do something.”
Rell went on to explain that she has put forth at least two deficit mitigation plans for fiscal year 2009, and the Democratic majority only has accepted about 65 percent of the spending cuts in those two plans. Rell’s third budget mitigation plan to help plug the more than $1 billion deficit for 2009 is expected later this week and lawmakers have scheduled a Feb. 25 vote on the plan.
Democratic lawmakers have said that unless Rell stops claiming that her $38.4 billion proposal actually balances the state’s budget in 2010 and 2011, the Republican governor and Democrat-controlled legislature have little hope of resolving the historic fiscal crisis.
What do you think? Will they reach a consensus?