Updated, 3 p.m., comment from Bruce Kimmel.
NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk is facing a state aid hit of $2.1 million if the current Democratic budget proposal is passed intact, according to information passed by Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons to NancyOnNorwalk Wednesday night.
Lyons forwarded information from State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142).
The $2.1M does not include the potential loss of Priority School District money.
According to, an accompanying spread sheet, Norwalk stands to lose $57.8 thousand from its Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) funds.
“We’re back to losing money on ECS, as well as in many other categories of general city aid and school aid, Lyons wrote in an email. “This is the budget the governor and Democratic leadership agreed on. The leadership has put this off to a special session to vote on, so it may be subject to more change. But right now we’re taking a real hit.”
The biggest hit is in the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account (MRSA) funds: $1.5 million. Among other cuts is $473K in PILOT (Property In Lieu Of Taxes) funds
In all, Norwalk’s expected $21,353,168 was cut by $2,137,423, to 19,215,745.
The information came too late to get a comment from Mayor Harry Rilling or other city officials, but, on May 2, Rilling said he expected the nearly $5 million in MRSA funding would remain almost intact.
“I believe the $4.9 million is safe,” Rilling said. “I believe we may end up with a little bit of a hit in ECS. But again, based on our latest discussion, I think we are going to be better off than they thought they would be. … I think we are going to be OK eventually, it is just a matter of when.”
The General Assembly was scheduled to adjourn at midnight Wednesday without adjusting the 2017 budget, but legislative leaders promised to return, possibly as soon as next week, to balance it.
Lawmakers didn’t have a copy of the budget online or in their hands as of 7 p.m. Wednesday. They only had unofficial spreadsheets and revenue estimates.
“As a matter of democracy and fairness to all the members of the House, it is not possible to do a budget this evening,” House Speaker Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) said in a statement at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The statement came as the House Democratic majority caucused the budget, which seeks to close $960 million revenue shortfall with $830 million in spending cuts and about $136 million in revenue changes.
“The time it took to reach an agreement, combined with the challenge of staff to physically get a printed bill to the floor, and then achieve passage, would likely require a cutoff of discussions,” Sharkey and Aresimowicz said. “That scenario would not be fair for the purpose of allowing a complete and reasonable debate, and at this point would be a disservice to House members and the public they represent to move forward tonight (Wednesday).”
“The information I have received does not indicate the cuts will be as high as $2.1 million,” Common Council Finance Committee Chairman Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large) said in a Thursday email. “The situation is still fluid and all types of conjectures have been bandied about. The important point is that the city has a plan in place to handle whatever comes our way, fiscally speaking.”
See Christine Stuart’s full state budget story at CT News Junkie.