Municipal leaders are questioning whether Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had the authority to cut state aid to some municipal programs as part of his plan to head off a nearly $1 billion budget deficit.
James Finley, the executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, sent a letter to Malloy’s budget director this week questioning the $4.7 million cut Malloy made in state aid to towns, much of it to schools.
In an interview with the Connecticut Mirror, Finley said the cuts Malloy ordered appear to overstep his budget authority.
Finley told the Mirror that the cuts might violate a legislative measure limiting the governor from cutting municipal aid once that aid is given. However, Malloy’s budget chief, Benjamin Barnes, told the website that the cuts were proper and do not violate such a rule.
The $4.7 million in local funding was part of a larger $123 million “budget mitigation plan” put forth by Malloy’s budget officials that is aimed at reducing what looks to be a more than $1 billion state budget deficit for 2013. The legislature has scheduled a special session this month to try and close the budget gap.