Governor Dannel Malloy came to New Haven Wednesday to present his first state budget to local business leaders, but walked away with a lukewarm endorsement.
Addressing about 60 business leaders, Malloy outlined his recent budget proposal, which aims to close the state’s $3.5 billion budget hole with $1.5 billion in tax hikes, $1.76 billion of spending cuts, and calls for $1 billion in union concessions. Afterward, he held an hour-long question-and-answer session and was supported by Anthony Rescigno, the president of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
“I can assure you this budget is better than anything [else] that will get passed,” Malloy said according to the New Haven Independent. “I think you better support it.”
He told business leaders that if they complain too much about the details of his budget they dislike, the proposal could “fall apart,” leading to back-room dealing that would harm everyone.
“If on the whole you embrace what I’m trying to do, you need to get that message out,” Malloy said.
Rescigno said he would give Malloy the “benefit of the doubt,” but that he was concerned that Malloy has no “back-up plan” if he cannot secure concessions from organized labor.
The proposed budget includes increases in taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, and clothing and shoes under $50.