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To the editor:A new fiscal year began Friday, but it will not be a fresh start.
According to the state Office of Fiscal Analysis, we are now facing a $322.9 million deficit -- $56 million more than was projected in May, $36 million more than projected in April, and $292 million more than projected in March. The Budget Reserve (aka “Rainy Day”) Fund will be drained to fill this gaping hole, cutting our savings down to a meager $83 million.
Both Moody’s and Fidelity report this transfer from Connecticut's rainy-day fund will be yet another hit on the Connecticut’s credit rating. Moody's currently rates Connecticut's general obligation bonds Aa3 with a negative outlook. Last month, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings lowered the state's ratings one level to AA-minus with stable outlooks. Kroll Bond Rating Agency rates the state AA and negative.
Meanwhile, our poor fiscal policies have, once again, led to bad public policy. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will suffer another cut of $3.4 million, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protections will be cut another $1.3 million, and the state has just cut aid to opioid treatment centers despite the epidemic in Connecticut.
Simply put, we are sinking, and sinking fast. We cannot continue on this unsustainable path of bleeding tax dollars to the federal government while our state government wastes what’s left. The future of Connecticut's economy, our communities and our families are on the line.
As I have for the last six years as your state representative, I will remain dedicated to righting our course both in Connecticut and beyond because, as the wealthiest state per capita, our current self-inflicted fiscal collapse can still be stopped.
Rep. John Shaban
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