Connecticut education and municipal leaders are voicing concerns about $50 million worth of mid-year cuts to state aid for local schools and governments. A $20 million cut mostly affecting Connecticut's largest education grant was included in Governor Malloy's changes to the 2017 budget.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says the remaining $30 million cut in funding for local infrastructure "goes far beyond cuts called for in the state budget." Malloy's budget office says the change is a temporary freeze on new infrastructure project authorizations, affecting only reimbursements beyond the $825 million lawmakers authorized.
Wilton state Senator Toni Boucher says this was unwelcome and disappointing news to hear right before a holiday weekend. She says this will be the number 1 topic on her agenda when the new General Assembly session begins January 4th.
Boucher was critical of Malloy's budget office for waiting until after an election to tell municipalities they would be getting a reduction, even though the deficit was growing at the start of the fiscal year. Boucher says the state has a huge structure cost and fringe benefit cost that need to be reduced so these types of cuts don't fall on local taxpayers. Even though the cuts are to municipalities and schools, Boucher says the ultimate burden falls on local property tax payers.
Several town officials are worried about the next shoe to drop. Boucher talked with several town leaders in her district who were concerned, and had a premonition that something would befall them.