Meow. Meow. Meow. Governor Dan Malloy says municipal leaders are meowing way too much about his proposed budget. Led by the municipal lobbying group Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, local elected officials screeched a collective cat chorus in Hartford today about state funding to municipalities. Municipal bean counters in Bridgeport say while Malloy hasn’t bailed on education funding he’s cutting other historically anticipated revenue items such as the state’s take on slot revenues in addition to his proposal to eliminate taxes on automobiles collected by municipalities. Mark Ojakian, chief of staff to Malloy, released the following statement today concerning state funding for municipalities:
“As town leaders know, every budget is about setting priorities. The Governor’s priority is to continue the effort to improve public schools and create jobs, and to do it without raising taxes. In fact, he is trying to ease the burden on middle class families by providing some much-needed tax relief.
“We understand that change is hard, but change is also necessary. Local leaders know that.”
Translation: we hear you, but shut up!
Of course, if Malloy were still mayor of Stamford he’d be meowing right with municipal leaders.
Municipal leaders are counting on their legislative friends to bail them out on funding requests for fear of huge local property tax increases. Mayor Bill Finch will submit his proposed spending plan to the City Council in less than two weeks with multiple scenarios based on state funding. Basically, it’s a good, bad, ugly situation. The mayor was in Hartford today protesting the governor’s budget proposal, telling reporters, “We want a better budget than what has been proposed so far.”
Finch said Malloy’s budget is so severe it could force cuts in public safety.