In an effort to show what a budget with no tax increases could look like, Democrats have proposed $2.8 billion in draconian cuts to make up the gap between the governor’s budget proposal and the projected budget shortfall.
The three scenarios presented Monday evening — which Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said are not endorsed by the Democratic caucus — include closing two University of Connecticut regional campuses, one Connecticut State University campus, and two prisons, in addition to laying off 5,600 (or 13.5 percent) state employees and eliminating all deputy commissioner positions. (Stuart)
Rell’s spokesman was quick to respond with a statement:
“Now that the Democrats have put their $2 billion in cuts on the table, they should also put their $2 billion in new taxes on the table and then ask our citizens which they are more afraid of,” the statement read.
So this is the start of the budget negotiations. It isn’t really a negotiation yet, is it?
John McKinney claimed that this is political theater, and it is. But it’s also illustrative of a point the Democrats are going to get around to making someday (I assume), which is that new taxes are preferable to cutting needed services, including state colleges and thousands of employees.
The big debate still seems to be over just how large the deficit is.
Stuart, Christine. “Democrats Propose $2.8 Billion In Cuts To Balance Budget.” CT News Junkie 9 March, 2009.