Connecticut Governor Says Budget Deal Unlikely Before July 18

By Joseph De Avila Features Dow Jones Newswires

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Wednesday it is likely the state legislature won't pass a budget to close a two-year, $5.1 billion deficit until July 18 at the earliest.

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The state began a new fiscal year on Saturday without a budget for the first time since 2009. On Friday, Mr. Malloy, a Democrat, signed an executive order to keep government operations running, but that move would amount to a $2.1 billion reduction if it stayed in effect for the entire fiscal year.

Mr. Malloy previously proposed passing a 90-day "mini-budget" to fund operations at a higher level than his executive order, but Democrats in the House of Representatives, refused last week to vote on a short-term fix.

"I think the state is holding up extremely well, except we don't have a budget," Mr. Malloy said Wednesday regarding his executive order at an unrelated news conference.

When asked if he is concerned about people who rely on state-funded social-service programs while the executive order is in effect, the governor said he had "great concerns" for them.

"I would have preferred a mini-budget rather than an executive order," Mr. Malloy said. "That's why I pled with people to do it."

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The executive order would cut Medicaid and other social-service programs by more than $100 million if it stays in effect for the entire fiscal year.

Mr. Malloy said his staff met with legislative staff Wednesday as they work toward completing a budget deal. Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed last week to vote on a two-year budget on July 18, and the governor said that still appears to be the earliest a vote could take place.

"We are losing revenue," Mr. Malloy said. "The job for the legislature is going to get harder not easier, each day it goes on."

Several other states also have struggled to close budget deficits this year. New Jersey passed its budget on Tuesday following a three-day government shutdown.

Write to Joseph De Avila at joseph.deavila@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 05, 2017 15:05 ET (19:05 GMT)