Gov. M. Jodi Rell unveiled her third 2009 budget mitigation plan Thursday morning relying on deficit projections from the state Comptroller’s office.
In a press release Rell says her budget office projected a $921.7 million deficit and the legislature’s budget office is projecting a $1.3 billion deficit, so she’s going with the state Comptroller’s deficit projection of $1.1 billion.
Using strongly worded language, Rell said this time lawmakers “need to adopt my plan in its entirety and stop picking and choosing the relatively easy options while putting off the inevitable.” Democratic lawmakers were reluctant to comment on the mitigation plan Thursday afternoon because they had just received it.
In Rell’s third budget mitigation plan she uses about $383.8 million in federal stimulus money and $281.7 million from the state’s Rainy Day fund to plug a bulk of the deficit.
“My proposal includes a retirement plan that will allow us to reduce the state work force by the start of April, so we can trim payroll costs,” Rell said in a press release. She said she is seeking to save about $48 million in labor costs this current year. Some of those costs would need to be negotiated with the state’s labor unions.
She also cuts another $6.25 million from state agencies, $700,000 from the special transportation fund and another $700,000 from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
In addition she moves up the effective dates of some of about $42 million in proposals she made in her 2010 and 2011 proposed budget. For example expansion of the bottle bill and extended hours for alcohol sales at the Indian casinos is estimated to bring in about $4.3 million in new revenue to the state.