Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell wrotethe Democrat-controlled legislature Tuesday and asked them to pass a fourth budget mitigation plan before April 15th to erase this year’s estimated $667 million to $1 billion budget deficit.
“Although we have not yet begun negotiations to resolve our differences over the budget for the next two years, we must deal with the current year’s shortfall,” Rell said in her letter to Democratic leaders.
But one of the co-chairmen of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee said he thinks at this point the legislature and the governor should start working out their differences on the two-year budget.
“We’re done doing budget mitigation plans,” Rep. John Geragosian said Tuesday outside the House chamber.
He said now that the governor and labor unions have a framework for concessions negotiations on the rest of the two-year budget should begin now. He said it’s unclear at the moment if revenue numbers based on the April 15 tax collections will be a “game changer.”
He said if the governor and the legislature start negotiating now they may be able to reach a budget compromise by May.
Rell released a list of about $67.3 million in spending cuts her administration has identified. Many of the cuts proposed by Rell Tuesday include cuts she proposed in previous deficit mitigation plans. Some of Rell’s suggested cuts include transferring $5 million of the $10 million in Tobacco Settlement Funds and $5.5 million of the Citizens Election Fund to the General Fund. And cutting the Connecticut network budget by $500,000.
In addition Rell said she would support the return of the $2 million she previously snatched from the Client Security Fund. The grab prompted the Connecticut Bar Association to file a class action lawsuit against Rell.