Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget will freeze the transfer of vehicle sales tax revenue from the General Fund to the Special Transportation Fund, essentially bankrupting the state’s transportation fund by 2021.
The incoming governor and legislature are already feuding about whether to raid the Rainy Day Fund to balance the books in 2019. Governor-elect Lamont is right about this: the Rainy Day Fund must be saved for the next economic downturn. The fiscal life of the state depends on it.
Although Connecticut’s 2017 budget crisis may have come to an end when Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the bipartisan budget on Tuesday, the next budget promises to be just as difficult. The nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis is already projecting a $4.6 billion deficit, largely due to the rapidly rising costs of pensions, retiree healthcare and debt service combined with declining tax revenue. Fixed costs now consume more than 50 percent of General Fund expenditures.
Imagine if Connecticut had 2.5 million people working here. That would mean nearly a million more people at work. What would be different? There would be more jobs to choose from and more options when it comes to shopping, eating or having fun. Some families that moved apart seeking opportunity elsewhere would still be together. Many new people would have arrived, bringing new ideas and opportunity with them.