Nearly two months without a budget, Connecticut is getting crushed by a burdensome debt load that has squeezed spending and amplified legislative discord.
State lawmakers must agree on a biennial budget soon or else Governor Dannel Malloy's executive order to slash state aid to municipalities and eliminate school funding for some districts will go into effect in October. The state faces a $3.5 billion deficit over the next two years.
Among the wealthiest in the United States, Connecticut has been strained by already high taxes, outmigration, falling revenues and $50 billion of unfunded pension liabilities.
Some $23 billion of outstanding municipal debt has also constrained spending. Bondholders must be paid ahead of most other expenses like non-essential services and payments to vendors.