With state unions having rejected a $1.6 billion concessions package needed to balance the two-year budget, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy is asking legislators to grant him the authority to make at least $700 million worth of cuts in the fiscal year that begins Friday.
Lawmakers, who convene in special session Thursday, are torn on the issue. Some say grant the governor’s request, within reason, and others say the General Assembly should vote on the cuts ’cause that’s their job.
Put ex-House Speaker Moira Lyons, a Democrat from Malloy’s hometown of Stamford, in the latter category.
Lyons acknowledged that when a member of the legislature she voted to grant then-Republican Gov. John Rowland some additional budget-cutting powers. Malloy has in fact been correctly pointing out his request is nothing new.
But, Lyons said in an interview this afternoon, ”$700 million’s an awful lot. I’d be reticent to do that. I think we (as legislators) have a responsibility. I did it once when we had (a) $35 million (deficit). But $700 million’s a lot of reduction.”