Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Governor Rell's second deficit mitigation plan

Excerpted from Governor Rell's press release:

Governor Rell Announces 2ND Deficit Mitigation Plan, Calls Special Session for January 2

Governor’s Plan Erases $356 Million Budget Gap with No New Taxes; Leaves Rainy Day Fund Intact

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced her new plan to eliminate Connecticut ’s current budget shortfall by cutting spending, redirecting revenue from special accounts to the General Fund, bringing additional efficiencies to state government and collecting additional revenue owed Connecticut by the federal government. The plan requires no new taxes, no employee layoffs and leaves the state’s $1.4 billion budget reserve fund (Rainy Day Fund) intact.

Governor Rell is calling the General Assembly into special session on Friday, January 2, to enact the plan.

“The national recession is an ongoing challenge for Connecticut ’s government, just as it is for our families and businesses,” Governor Rell said. “Government spending must reflect economic reality, and that means the tough choices families are making can no longer be avoided by the Legislature. We must attack the spending side of this equation, because raising taxes in the middle of a recession is the worst decision we could make.

“Some will question why I am calling the Legislature into session five days before the next regular session is slated to begin,” the Governor said. “The answer is as simple as it is stark: We cannot put off reality. We cannot wait to take action. The Legislature – the sitting Legislature – needs to take action.

“Every day the economic news gets worse,” Governor Rell said. “One need only scan the news in recent days: Layoffs at the Stanley Works. One-day furloughs at Pratt & Whitney. Two community newspapers in trouble and the Tribune Co. in bankruptcy court. Every day we sit and wait makes the budget situation worse. Lawmakers MUST address the budget deficit now. We literally cannot afford to wait.”

I'm glad to see an elected official take action. Sure would be nice if Cheshire's Council would take action on the pool, the take home vehicles, the west coast employee training, etc. But even a symbolic gesture of fiscal conservatism could gore an ox. And our Council majority is loathe to gore an ox. Best to stick our head in the sand and do as we're directed!

Tim White

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