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Connecticut Budget Talks Collapse

The Connecticut State Capitol Building in Hartford

In Connecticut, state budget talks fell apart Tuesday after Democratic legislative committee leaders rejected fellow Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy’s plans on pensions and education funding.

State Representative Toni Walker, D-New Haven, is the House chair of the Appropriations Committee.

Walker said, “I cannot ask House members of the Appropriations Committee to vote on a compromise bill when we do not have everybody that participated in developing it supporting the bill. And it was made clear today that all of the people that were participating were still voting no.”

Walker was speaking after a lengthy closed door meeting with members of her caucus.

State Senator Cathy Osten, D-Norwich, co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, said they did not have enough support for an alternative plan that would have restored cuts made in the governor’s plan.

“This proposal protected municipal aid, restored funding for public health departments and school-based health centers. We are ready and remain committed to moving this process forward.”

So it’s back to the drawing board as Malloy and Connecticut lawmakers continue to grapple with how to close a projected state budget deficit of $1.7 billion. Lawmakers have until the end of session in June to pass a budget.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.