Connecticut orders second round of budget cuts to close deficit

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 23, 2015 5:03 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy ordered a second round of spending cuts in two months on Friday, slicing $31.5 million more from the state's $20 billion budget as officials warned of "very tough choices" ahead.

The move was aimed at closing a $31.6 million projected deficit this fiscal year that Connecticut's chief financial watchdog projected at the start of January. The state's fiscal year ends on June 30.

Malloy, a Democrat, requested nearly $55 million in cuts shortly after winning a closely fought battle for reelection in November.

"If necessary the Governor will take additional steps, or propose additional steps to the legislature, to keep this year's budget in balance," Benjamin Barnes, secretary of Office of Policy Management said in a statement. 

Although one of the wealthiest states, Connecticut's economy has been slow to recover from the financial crisis. Connecticut's rainy day fund is depleted and its pension system is among the worst funded in the United States.

Friday's cuts affected a wide array of agencies and services. Community technical colleges and the state university lost $2.6 million and the department of developmental services had its budget cut by $8.3 million.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Grant McCool)