The Town of Redding has scheduled its Annual Budget Hearing for Thursday April 16th. There are many uncertainties related to how the budget process may differ this year: town officials plan to conduct budget deliberations using a virtual meeting platform accessible to the public. There will also be opportunities for public input and comments.
This all stems from the current inability to hold public gatherings and machine votes due to the pandemic. The Governor has issued Executive Orders (see below) providing alternative processes for municipalities to set a budget for FY 2020-2021. Many towns are opting to wait until May or June to decide whether or not to enact the Executive Order. This will likely be discussed at tomorrow night’s Budget Hearing.
Suspension of In-Person Budget Adoption Requirements for Municipalities. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of the Connecticut General Statutes, including Title 7, or any special act, municipal charter or ordinance that conflicts with this order, the legislative body of a municipality or, in a municipality where the legislative body is a town meeting, the board of selectmen, shall authorize the budget-making authority within said municipality to adopt a budget for the July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 fiscal year and to set a mill rate sufficient, in addition to the other estimated yearly income of such town and in addition to such revenue surplus, if any, as may be appropriated, not only to pay the expenses of the municipality for said fiscal year, but also to absorb the revenue deficit of such town, if any, at the beginning of said fiscal year without holding votes required by charter or without complying with any in-person budget adoption requirements, including but not limited to, annual town meetings requiring votes, referendum, and special town meetings. In so acting, the budget-making authority of the municipality shall comply with public meeting requirements consistent with requirements set forth in Executive Order 7B and shall thereby take all reasonable steps to publicize the draft municipal budget for said fiscal year and to receive public comment thereon, including but not limited to publishing draft budgets on the website and providing an email address or other means for the public to submit timely comments on the proposed budget.