CT to release latest budget deficit projections

The state will release the latest budget deficit projections Tuesday, and reports say it is not expected to be good news.Officials say the deficit could

BRIDGEPORT - The state will release the latest budget deficit projections Tuesday, and reports say it is not expected to be good news.

Officials say the deficit could add up to more than $1 billion this fiscal year, which is set to end June 30.

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) says lawmakers are at the point where every program in the state will be scrutinized.

?We're going to have to figure out whether or not some of these programs are working or not working,? says Duff.

It is expected people will see a lot reductions and eliminations in the programs to avoid tax increases.

State Sen. Dan Debicella (R-Stratford) says the deficit can be compared to trying to cut 15 percent from a household budget.

?When you try to get 15 percent out of your budget, you?re actually going to be taking away things your family really needs. It?s the same with government. We?re going to be making some really hard choices,? says Debicella.

Up to this point, the legislature has held special sessions to pass two deficit mitigation plans, but nothing drastic as of yet.

?So far we're still nibbling around the edges, but we do know larger cuts are coming,? says Duff.

According to both Republicans and Democrats, the deep cuts could mean higher tuition at community colleges, less state money for municipalities for schools and less money for roads. They say one guaranteed cut will result in fewer state employees.

?Rather than cutting services for the everyday consumers, it's better to do things smarter in government and reduce the size of government,? says Debicalla.

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