Gov. Rell has called a special session for January 2nd–just five days before the regular session begins on January 7th.
As for why?
“Some will question why I am calling the Legislature into session five days before the next regular session is slated to begin,” the Governor said. “The answer is as simple as it is stark: We cannot put off reality. We cannot wait to take action. The Legislature – the sitting Legislature – needs to take action.”
Okay… but if that’s true, why wait even this long? Why not call them into session tomorrow, or next week? We need to take action–bold action! …once Christmas break is over.
And what’s so important that it needs to be done without a second’s delay?
The Governor’s plan calls for further spending cuts, including $7.2 million in a third round of rescissions. Governor Rell has already ordered two rounds of budget cuts – the first a cut of $150 million and, most recently, a cut of $34 million.
The plan transfers $35 million set aside during the August special session in case Congress did not provide enough funding for low-income heating aid. Later Congress appropriated $5.1 billion in supplemental federal funding for the program, so the $35 million in state funding is no longer needed.
The Governor’s plan also transfers $185.8 million from special accounts within state government into the General Fund for operating expenses. These accounts contain funds well in excess of what they are estimated to actually require.
Whew! Thank goodness we’re getting on this as soon as possible! Otherwise we’d be in debt (on paper) for another week or so. The foundations of our democracy quiver at the thought.
You can read the entire plan here, but that’s really the gist of it. Later on in her release, the governor pats herself on the back for fixing up the deficit “…without raising taxes, tapping our ‘Rainy Day Fund,’ cutting state employees or increasing the burden on the hard-pressed families and businesses of Connecticut.” It won’t be so easy come June, of course.
So, look for the 2007-08 legislature to come back for one last gasp in early January.