This weekend legislative Republicans removed themselves from budget negotiations leaving the legislature’s Democratic majority and Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell to come up with a plan. The House may adopt the 2011 budget adjustment Tuesday night that erases the close to $2 billion deficit and Republicans have promised to attach an amendment which centers around the sale of Bradley International Airport and Brainard Field.
House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero estimated that the state could sell Bradley and Brainard for $800 million and use the recent increase in state revenue to erase the amount of money the legislature’s Democratic majority and Rell would borrow as part of the budget compromise.
“We would get the state of Connecticut out of the airport business,” Cafero said.
In addition to selling the two airports, Cafero, said Republicans would require $150 million in state employee concessions, consolidate state agencies, privatize the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Environmental Protection programs, and lower salaries of legislators and constitutional officers.
Cafero, who showed up in the Capitol Press Room Tuesday afternoon to talk about the amendment, was also asked about what he thought about the compromise between the legislature’s Democratic majority and Rell.
“They do absolutely nothing to cut into the structural deficits. The structural deficits that we know exist without question in 2012, 2013, and 2014.”
When asked how his plan to sell Bradley and Brainard wasn’t a one-time use of revenue which does nothing to address the structural deficits in the future, Cafero said, he doesn’t know how it’s a revenue loss since it’s not making money now.
When asked why the number hadn’t been attached to the proposal until now with close to 24-hours left in the legislative session, Cafero said, “we’ve been interested in getting numbers for two years.”
“I don’t know how to answer that other than we‘re giving it to you now,” Cafero said.
The compromise budget agreement between the legislature’s Democratic majority and Rell cuts about $171.6 million in spending and closes the rest of the $726 million hole with additional federal funds, $140 surplus, $100 million deferral to the state employees pension fund, and several fund sweeps. It will then borrow and pay back $955.9 million in Economic Recovery Notes by using two charges on consumers’ electric bills.