Cash-poor Connecticut may sell land, buildings
Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:56pm EDT
NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) - Connecticut, one of a handful of states that missed its budget deadline, on Wednesday began drawing up a list of assets to sell, from buildings to a seaside site, to help close a two-year $8 billion deficit.
Though Republican Governor Jodi Rell and Democratic lawmakers agreed not to disclose their budget talks after she vetoed their proposal, Rell in a statement said "the concept of raising revenue from the sale of state assets has been embraced by all those involved in negotiations."
The Democrats wanted to raise $112 million by selling state property. Rell, who faulted them for not saying what should be sold, has now told all state agencies to use their creativity to find candidates, including capital equipment.
"We must consider parting with those parcels or buildings that we would not have considered in the 'ordinary' course of business or that we would like to hold onto because of stunning natural settings, such as the Seaside property in Waterford," she said.
Connecticut's properties include the Seaside Regional Center in Waterford and a former tuberculosis sanatorium. Rell's spokesman could not immediately say if that was the site that might be sold. Shore properties can still command handsome prices though values have fallen during the recession.
Next week, Democrats should reconvene to consider overturning Rell's vetoes. She also sent them her budget director's forecast that 14 of the bills she vetoed would cost the state $1.5 billion a year.
Her list included a green buildings tax credit, a way to help municipal, nonprofit and small business employees self-insure health care via the state health plan, and creating an authority, run by an appointed individual, to "take over health care policy and decision-making."
(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Diane Craft)