Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will be taking his state budget proposal on the road over the next few months, after a one-year hiatus from the tradition.
“Engaging the public and discussing the issues directly is important this year,” Malloy said in a statement. “We’ll be talking a lot of about the future, and how state government can adapt to changing times.”
Leaked budget documents show Malloy will propose $569.5 million in spending cuts in 2017 and no tax increases. The documents acknowledge that there is also likely to be a deficit in 2018 and further cuts will be necessary.
“This year we plan on having a robust conversation about how we can make decisions that will best improve Connecticut,” Malloy said.
This is the second year of Malloy’s second term. Last year, Malloy said there wasn’t that much to defend about the state’s fiscal condition and there were no ground breaking policy changes to tout. His town hall meetings during his first and second year in office sparked a number of heated exchanges with members of the public.
This year, even though he plans to cut spending by a half-billion dollars, Malloy wants to continue his conversation with Connecticut residents.
In 2011, he held an unprecedented 17 town hall forums. In 2012, he held 13 community forums on his education reform agenda, which were attended by hundreds of teachers and parents. In 2013 and 2014, he held a handful of community forums, which were described as “town hall-style events” in press releases. They were billed as “an opportunity to discuss the state’s pressing issues face-to-face with state residents.”
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said these town hall events provide an opportunity for her and the governor “to spend time in a city or town and hear concerns, and for citizens to help inform the policy-making that happens in Hartford.”
Dates and locations for the series will be announced during the coming days and weeks as each of the events are scheduled. It is anticipated that the forums will run throughout the legislative session, which ends on May 4.