Malloy Wants Bipartisan Budget Talks
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has called for bipartisan talks on the state budget. Malloy said that a shortfall in the state's $20 billion budget has widened by $120 million. That's on top of more than a $100 million in cuts he made last month to balance the budget.
Malloy blamed the shortfall on a significant down turn in the stock market and lower than expected revenue from personal income. Speaking to reporters, Malloy said he wants Democratic and Republican legislative leaders to come up with their own ideas to balance the budget.
“I’m calling everybody back,” he said. “Come to the table. Bring suggestions. We’ll have a discussion. But, but what I will say, it’s got to be serious.”
Malloy said if the bipartisan talks are successful, they could lead to a special session later this year to revise the budget.
Republicans are the minority party in the General Assembly. They were not included in budget negotiations between Malloy, who is a Democrat, and the majority Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said Republicans have been calling for a special session on the budget, but Democrats were unwilling to join them.
Fasano says Republicans were especially upset by the last round of Malloy’s cuts which affected hospitals and human service programs.
“This is a bad budget. It was presented on bad data,” he said. “We, as Republicans, knew it was a bad budget. And, what’s worse for him, to try to save this budget he’s going after the vulnerable people in our society and hurting them and that’s just not something that we should do.
Fasano said Republicans are ready to join budget discussions with Democrats. Democratic Senate President Martin Looney said in a statement that he is willing to work with Republicans on the budget. Looney said Democrats were prepared to offer a plan that would restore funding to hospitals and programs.