Frantz / Welcome to chaotic Connecticut
With the knee-jerk veto of the bipartisan approved budget in both the House and the Senate, the governor just asked for a whole lot of chaos for the citizens of the State of Connecticut for months, if not years, to come.
The approved line-by-line budget before him was fully vetted by the Office of Fiscal Analysis, balanced, either increased or held towns harmless on education cost sharing funding and did not place a massive burden of the Teacher’s Retirement Fund obligation on the cities and towns.
It also did not tax second homes in the state and did not tax every cell phone line.
Had the governor signed the budget or let it lapse in to law without his signature, we would avoid hundreds of millions of reductions in funding to municipalities by his own executive order.
This is really going to hurt.
Schools will be shortchanged as will many social service providers which could cause hundreds if not thousands of layoffs.
Additionally, without a budget, Connecticut will miss out on millions of dollars of potential federal funding, further worsening our fiscal crisis.
Inevitably, there will be a chain of downgrades to municipalities by the credit rating agencies due to a high level of uncertainty of funding levels from the state, let alone the state itself, which has already been downgraded a half a dozen times.
This will cause an increase in borrowing costs at both levels, further adding to our fiscal crisis.
The window in which it is possible to apply for a $343.9 million increase in gross Federal Medicaid funds is shutting rapidly, and if the governor misses that deadline as well, he will further add to our fiscal crisis.
As a result of no budget, the bottom line is that those who need help the most will be suffering the most, and there will be chaos in the school system due to underfunding there and in nearly every other part of state and local government.
The governor had a chance to make a moral choice and right the state’s disastrous course by signing the budget and then making changes going forward.
Rather, he chose to take us down a very dark path that he knows will cause a lot of pain.
Politics over people at its worst.
State Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-36, represents all of Greenwich and parts of Stamford and New Canaan.