Caution and concern fills the local budget process that relies heavily on funds from the state budget that’s one gigantic mess. What happens in Hartford influences the flow of dollars to Bridgeport’s municipal budget as the City Council prepares to vote on a spending plan next week proposed by Mayor Joe Ganim that calls for no tax increase. It’s a leap of faith.
Governor Dan Malloy is threatening layoffs without a concession deal with state labor unions worth at least $700 million to close a mega budget gap.
Meanwhile the State House branch of government is headed by Speaker Joe Aresimowicz who works for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the bargaining unit that represents most state employees.
The council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee will likely vote on the budget this weekend or Monday. It then goes to the full City Council that serves both as a legislative branch and budget-making body relying on the timeline of the City Charter to pass a spending plan to begin July 1. Based on the state’s budget confusion it could be forced to approve a municipal budget in the dark that goes back to Ganim for possible veto action.
So is everyone else in the process.