Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked the General Assembly to give him an additional two weeks to put together his two-year budget and they agreed.
“Moving from a first term to a second involves a great deal of transition, including a number of commissioner changes at very large state agencies,” Gian-Carl Casa, deputy undersecretary at the Office Policy and Management, said Wednesday. “As such, similar to four years ago, we felt a slight delay was appropriate.”
The budget address was originally scheduled for Feb. 4, but will be moved to Feb. 18.
There are no specific financial reports scheduled to be released during those two weeks, but there are some who are hoping the revenue numbers improve. The next financial report on revenues is scheduled to be released on Jan. 15.
Sen. President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said they gave the governor some additional time because they’re hoping to have “better, more definitive numbers, at least in the current year, before the governor gives his presentation.”
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said she’s not bothered by a two week delay. If it had been a two month request though she would have complained.
“You have to pick your battles,” she said.
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo said last week that the state planned to end 2015 with a $31.6 million deficit. Meanwhile, the Office of Fiscal Analysis has estimated that the 2016 budget is running a $1.3 billion deficit.
When Malloy presents his budget in February he will have to close that $1.3 billion deficit. In addition, he made a promise on the campaign trail that he would not increase taxes.
At the same time, Malloy said he wants to undertake an ambitious program to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure. But the revenues in which to enact the transportation projects would have to be held in a lockbox.
“Until that legislation is passed and signed, I will veto any attempt to levy additional sources of new revenue for transportation,” Malloy is expected to tell the General Assembly during a 4 p.m. address.