As the General Assembly remains unable to move forward with either an adopted two year budget or a shorter term temporary fix, the State of Connecticut has now begun the new fiscal year without a budget. The deadline of July 1 came and went, with frustration and disappointing coming from both sides of the aisle, along with the governor’s office.
The legislature has been struggling to deal with a massive deficit that looms for the coming biennium — up to about $5 billion. To intensify the problem, income tax receipts have been far lower than projected, which has only ballooned the deficit number and forced both parties to account for another $1.5 billion for the biennium. A third casino, legalized marijuana, and the adding of tolls to highways have all been discussed in efforts to impact the revenue side of the budget, while a sales tax hike to 6.99% is on the table as well.