Gov. Jodi Rell issued this release today:
Governor Rell: Cooperation is Key
In Addressing Reduction of Municipal Aid
Municipalities Given Strong Voice
In Mandate Relief, Other Cost-Saving Recommendations
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that six municipal leaders from cities and towns – both large and small – will work closely with state officials and lawmakers to identify local savings and recommend mandate relief to help close an estimated $466.5 million state budget shortfall.
The Governor appointed the municipal leaders to a special bipartisan panel she has created to offset an $84 million reduction, or 3 percent decrease, in municipal aid. The Governor called the reduction “one of the most painful cuts” contained in the deficit mitigation plan she recently presented to the Legislature. The Governor has called lawmakers back into special session on December 15 to address the deficit.
“Our municipal leaders have been on the front line of this fiscal crisis and know better than anyone how devastating this recession has been,” Governor Rell said. “Their input is essential as everyone in Connecticut – families, businesses and government – cope with a still volatile economy.
“In good times, our cities and towns have shared in our successes. This time, we are asking them to be part of the solution – and we are listening. Their recommendations of where we can prudently cut back and what mandates are the most onerous are part of the cooperation needed to get the state, their towns and our families back on firm financial footing,” the Governor said.
Governor Rell has previously proposed steps such as a temporary suspension of binding arbitration and requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature before any further mandates are imposed. She is asking that the panel begin meeting this week.
The following municipal leaders appointed by the Governor are:
· Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch
· Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton
· East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey
· Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy
· Somers First Selectwoman Lisa Pellegrini
· Portland First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield
Legislative leaders have been asked to appoint six members to the panel, which will be co-chaired by Office of Policy and Management Secretary Robert Genuario and Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Brenda Sisco. To date, legislative members are:
· Rep. John Frey (House Republicans)
· Sen. Robert Kane (Senate Republicans)
“I urge the majority party to make its appointments promptly so that this panel can begin working on finding cost-savings solutions rather than overburdening the already overburdened taxpayer of Connecticut,” Governor Rell said.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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