This past Thursday, Sept. 28, Governor Malloy vetoed the bill that would see over $300 million cut from UConn’s budget. While this seems like a win for the UConn community, there is a lot of uncertainty in the weeks ahead.
Since Republicans have not overridden the veto, the government will go into further negotiations to determine the future of Connecticut. There will undoubtedly be cuts to UConn’s budget, the question remains: how large will the cuts be? Malloy countered with a proposal to cut $100 million, an amount that UConn officials have accepted. Democrats propose that the difference between the two plans, however, will have to come from other sources such as increased taxes as legislature attempts to close a $3.5 billion gap over two years.
UConn officials and students must continue to stay active in this process. Currently, Connecticut is operating at near shut-down levels. Because the budget was not approved as of October, a series of executive orders came into effect, cutting municipal funds to maintain core functions. These cuts include all state funding for public education in 85 communities.
If the vetoed budget is not overridden and a replacement budget is not proposed soon, many communities will find it difficult to stay afloat. In order to prevent permanent damages to state functions, all parties must be willing to negotiate and look at other programs from which there can be cuts.
The House of Representatives and the Senate are split fairly evenly between Republicans and Democrats, meaning that any future plan will need bipartisan support. Whatever plan ends up becoming law will include budget cuts and tax increases. But the most important part is not in the budget’s passing but rather an analysis of it. The question of “what decisions led the state to this drastic crossroad?” must be answered because, if we do not change our behaviors, we will be having this conversation again a lot sooner than any of us wish to.