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Connecticut News

Conn. GOP Unveils Budget Plan, Malloy Calls It 'Irresponsible'

The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford
Johnathon Henninger
/
The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford

On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers in the Connecticut General Assembly released their plan for adjustments to the State’s two-year budget they passed last year.

The Republicans say their revised plan takes advantage of increased income tax revenues to balance the 2019 budget. It also reduces future deficits and reverses earlier cuts in aid to cities and towns and school funding.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, a Republican from Derby, says they’ve split the $1.5 billion accrued in the State’s Rainy Day Fund into three.

“We put part of it into unfunded liabilities for state employees, part of it into teacher retirement unfunded liabilities, and the rest as an investment into the Rainy Day Fund.”

Governor Malloy’s spokeswoman, Kelly Donnelly, accuses the Republicans of being fiscally irresponsible. She says the GOP plan spends $120 million more than Malloy’s proposal in fiscal year 2019 while doing nothing to fix the 2018 deficit. She also says the Republican plan decimates state funding for UConn, the Department of Children and Families and the Special Transportation Fund.

Democrats and Republicans have to reach an agreement on the budget adjustments before the legislative session ends next Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, the House approved a bill aimed at trying to avert a strike by thousands of home health care workers. The bill provides wage increases for union workers who currently make $12 to $14 an hour caring for people with intellectual disabilities at group homes and day programs.  

Democratic Representative Michael D’Agostino of Hamden was a sponsor of the bill. He says the Malloy administration has assured legislatives leaders that the State has the money to cover the immediate wage hike.

“All the players in this seem to understand where we are on this, that for the current fiscal year the money is there. Then we are back at this through the budgetary process.”

The bill passed by a vote of 88 to 62 on Wednesday. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The Malloy administration has said a strike would be quite costly, both in terms of individual and family disruption. It could also cost the State as much as $1 million per day during a strike.