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Connecticut News

Connecticut Budget In Limbo As House Fails To Find Compromise

The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford
Johnathon Henninger

It appears Connecticut is set to end its fiscal year on Friday without a budget. That means Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy will have to temporarily take over state spending by executive authority at midnight Friday. He’ll have control until lawmakers pass a budget.

Governor Malloy had hoped that lawmakers, short of adopting a balanced two-year budget, would have meet in special session on Thursday to take action on his three-month mini-budget stop-gap measure.

Instead, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, a Berlin Democrat, announced shortly after 2 p.m. that his caucus had come up with a budget plan. The eleventh-hour $40 billion two-year plan would increase the state's 6.35 percent sales tax to 6.99 percent to help maintain funding to cities and towns. Aresimowicz says it could be ready for a vote on July 18, the day after unionized state workers are expected to ratify their labor concession deal.

“Folks around here wanted a deadline. We have one. It’s July 18. Let’s come together on a budget. A mini-budget just kicks the can down the road.”

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides of Derby says her caucus also has a budget plan and its ready for an immediate vote.

That prompted an angry response from Governor Malloy.

“Democrats deliver a two-year budget, which by all accounts is designed to preserve the status quo. A budget that leads with revenue, underfunds debt service, and guts transportation. And of course the House Republicans don’t even have that, despite their repeated claims their caucus does not have a budget that is ready to run.”

On the other hand, Malloy is praising the leaders of the state Senate, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. They had been prepared to have their chamber vote on Malloy’s three-month mini-budget stop-gap measure.

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