RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – A $170 million budget cut by the state won’t affect Ridgefield too much — it’s the next round of cuts that worry First Selectman Rudy Marconi.
The state has a $365 million budget shortfall and the $170 million cut was just a start, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced last month. On Monday , state Comptroller Kevin Lembo increased the deficit estimates to at least $415 million.
“Projected state spending above budgeted levels and the slow pace of national economic recovery are impeding the state’s ability to bring the budget into balance. Economic indicators are below the levels normally observed at this stage of a recovery,” Lembo said.
According to Marconi, Ridgefield doesn’t receive much money from the state and nothing from the first cuts announced. “Generally speaking, it looks like the social services across the state are taking the greatest hit,” Marconi said. More than $32.2 million was cut from the social services budget, although the biggest cut, nearly $33.5 million, is in the state’s benefit programs.
“As this process continues and as the deficit continues to grow,” Marconi said his fear is how the municipalities will be affected. But as yet, nothing in the cuts will directly affect Ridgefield’s budget, he said.
“Many of these cuts are very difficult to make, especially now when so many residents continue to struggle in a tough economy,” Ben Barnes, secretary of Connecticut's Office of Policy Management, said in a statement. “And we should all remember that as difficult as some of these reductions are to make now, there are more, even tougher choices ahead."
The remainder of the budget cuts will come when the state Legislature returns later this month.
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