When the State Budget is Late: Establishing Clearer Guidelines for Connecticut

Back • Publication Date: October 5th, 2009

Authors: Shelley Geballe, J.D., M.P.H.

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Of the forty-six states with fiscal years starting July 2009, Connecticut was second to last in adopting a Fiscal Year 2010 state budget. Before the final biennium budget became law, Governor Rell’s Executive Orders authorized funding in July, August and part of September, for some budget accounts, but provided little or no funding for others.

This report reviews the Connecticut Attorney General’s Opinions regarding current constitutional and statutory authority to continue spending funds in the absence of a state budget when the new fiscal year begins. It then reviews Governor Rell’s Executive Orders that made allotments for the months of July, August, and September 2009. The report examines statutory procedures in other states when no budget has been adopted by the beginning of the fiscal year. It concludes by urging the General Assembly to amend state law to more precisely define what must occur when Connecticut enters a new fiscal year without either a state budget or a continuing resolution that has been adopted by the General Assembly and not vetoed by the Governor.