Gov. Rell has sent budget requests from state departments back with requests to cut spending even further, while vowing to protect so-called “core missions” of government.
“I will be proposing deep cuts in spending. Some will not like all of them. Some will not like any of them. But no program, no constituency and no project can be sacred — because no sector of our economy is unaffected,” she said.
Rell spoke broadly in her speech and in her comments afterward of preserving the core functions of state government.
“We look at public safety as a core mission. We look at education as a core mission. We look at certain things that we have expanded — taking care of those who are in need I think is a core mission of state government,” she told reporters. “But we have expanded in some of those areas above what is the basic core function and so I think the bottom is we simply have to get back to the basics, and we have to get back to what we can afford to pay for.” (Hughes)
Rell has also hired a labor lawyer to start negotiations with state employee unions.
So what are the basics? Put another way, what services and “missions,” if you will, are extra? Social workers at DCF? The state business advocate? The entire DECD? Highways and trains?
And should a tax increase of some sort to fund these core missions, whatever Rell sees them as, be the only thing entirely off the table? I suppose we’ll find out when the governor proposes her budget in February.
Hughes, Paul. “Rell to state: Cut more.” Waterbury Republican-American 9 December, 2008.