HARTFORD, Conn. — A small eastern Connecticut town could find itself on the brink of insolvency if the state’s budget impasse continues.
Scotland officials say the town relies heavily on state aid and could run out of money in February under an executive order Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy issued this month.
State lawmakers have been unable to agree on a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 and the following year, prompting Malloy to run state government under his limited spending authority.
Malloy has proposed eliminating state education aid to 85 school districts all together and reducing school aid to another 54 districts if a budget isn’t approved by next month.
Scotland received about $1.4 million from the state in fiscal year 2017. Under Malloy’s plan, it could lose about $1 million, The Hartford Courant reported.
“They’re looking at massive cuts under the governor’s executive order and simply cannot survive without that funding,” said state Rep. Doug Dubitsky, a Chaplin Republican who represents the town in the General Assembly.
Dubitsky told The Courant other communities are also facing the prospect of insolvency.
“There are at least three or four other towns in this general area that have said, at least behind closed doors, that they could be in a similar situation … maybe not right away but eventually,” he said.
Scotland officials told The Bulletin of Norwich that the Board of Selectmen is beginning to explore alternatives that include bankruptcy and dissolution, which could lead to Scotland joining with a neighboring town.
Democratic state lawmakers last week proposed increasing the state sales tax to raise more than $660 million over two years to help curb potential cuts to school aid to cities and towns.
Scotland First Selectmen Dan Syme said that while the plan gave him hope, officials are still preparing for the worst-case scenario.