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Klarides, Citing Budget Constraints, Challenges Malloy's Final Picks For Judiciary

Jessica Hill
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby during opening session at the state Capitol in February in Hartford, Conn.

The Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to hold hearings on Monday on the last set of judicial nominees submitted by outgoing Governor Dannel Malloy, but there might be a hiccup at the hearings.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, a Derby Republican, is calling on Democrats to hold off on the judicial nominees until a new governor takes office next year. Klarides says Connecticut is facing a budget deficit and cannot afford 30 new judges at a cost of $291,000 each annually, including support staff and fringe benefits. She says eight years ago Democrats did something similar when they warned that former Republican Governor Jodi Rell’s last list of judicial nominees would not be approved until the state’s budget issues were addressed.

Democratic Governor Malloy’s spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly says Klarides has her facts wrong. Donnelly claims that all of Rell’s nominees were confirmed. She says Rell left office with 12 judicial vacancies, while Malloy plans to leave office with 21 vacancies.

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.