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As State Continues Without Budget, House Republicans Offer Proposal

Jessica Hill
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, speaks to the House on the final day of session at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn., in June.

The Republican minority in the Connecticut House of Representatives presented details of their state budget proposal in Hartford on Tuesday. The state has been operating without a budget since the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.

The House Republican plan increases school spending, cuts borrowing and restores a $200 property tax credit. It also eliminates the state’s projected $5 billion two-year budget deficit by cutting the public workforce and requiring more state employee givebacks.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides of Derby admits it might be difficult to get bipartisan support for the plan.

“This is not for the purposes of convincing anybody to do one thing or the other. We wanted to have our colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle to hear what is in our budget.”

One of her colleagues from the other side of the aisle who listened to the presentation is House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat from Berlin. He says requiring more givebacks from state employees might be a challenge.

“Some of their proposals today are interesting and we are going to look at them. Some of them are problematic.”

House Democrats have their own budget plan. Aresimowicz has scheduled a vote on that plan for next Tuesday, July 18, even though he’s yet to get bipartisan agreement.

In the meantime, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy is urging lawmakers to buy themselves some time by taking up his proposal for a stop-gap three-month mini-budget. Senate Democrats and Republicans have been receptive to that, but Speaker Aresimowicz has not.

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.