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Lawmakers Meet As Hartford's Budget Woes Continue

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

Legislative leaders in Connecticut are to meet this week to discuss the state’s continued fiscal problems despite having recently passed a bipartisan budget.  

The big problem is that the $41 billion two-year tax and spending package Connecticut lawmakers passed four months late in October is already in deficit. Revised estimates are projecting $202 million in deficit this fiscal year alone, which crosses the threshold requiring Governor Malloy to issue a deficit mitigation plan.

In the meantime, some lawmakers are upset with the $91 million in cuts to municipal aid that the governor has already made. Republican leaders say they do not support such cuts. But Democratic Senate President Martin Looney is defending Malloy, saying that if the Republicans had wanted to avoid specific cuts, they should have written it into the budget instead of passing the buck to the governor to deal with lapses.

“The budget that we passed did reflect the areas where we have consensus agreements on specific cuts. Areas that we did not have consensus agreements on specific cuts in some cases were then addressed by the lapses.”

Looney says Republican and Democratic legislative leaders are to meet on Tuesday to go over the latest deficit figures. But he says there’s little appetite to call for a special legislative session to revise the budget before lawmakers return for their regular session in February.

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.