By: Keith M. Phaneuf, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Arielle Levin Becker
On January 23, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy unveiled more than $31.5 million in spending cuts in his second round of emergency budget reductions, with social services, public colleges and universities and the state court system again taking the heaviest hits.
The administration’s chief budget agency, the Office of Policy and Management, technically ordered $24.6 million in cuts to 29 agencies and higher education units.
The governor, who has limited authority to unilaterally order cuts, also requested $7 million in further reductions from the judicial and legislative branches, as well as from the state’s watchdog agencies – all of which are exempt from the budgetary rescission statute.
“We know these rescissions affect programs that help the people of Connecticut, but we need to control spending to avoid a deficit at year-end,” Malloy’s budget director, OPM Secretary Benjamin Barnes, wrote in a statement.
“Unfortunately, [the] Governor’s ability to make mid-year budget cuts is limited by amount and line item. We will continue to scrutinize state spending, and if necessary, the Governor will take additional steps, or propose additional steps to the legislature, to keep this year’s budget in balance. Those decisions will be made as we develop next year’s budget, which will also require some very tough choices.”