HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The budget-cut dance at the State Capitol is now in its third week and Thursday night, the Governor says the next big move is up to the leaders of his own party.
The Republican leadership came across today in this high stakes poker game showing their hand to the Governor and the Democratic leadership.
All sides agreed that the Republican leadership put all their cards on the table today. No one will say where the proposed cuts would be made other than to say the cuts to the hospitals and other social service programs would be restored with their ideas.
“This is not about filling the hole with gum and doing that patchwork quilt approach to budgeting anymore,” said Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) the House Minority Leader.
“These budget conversation have to include closing up budget gaps, but must also include long term strategies and that’s got to be part of this deal or we’re not going to have a lot of conversations,” said Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven), the state Senate Minority Leader.
“I think they put out an effort that does reflect good faith and responsible thought in many ways and I think there is some promising areas for discussion,” said Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven), the President Pro tem of the State Senate.
There apparently is some agreement that the changes in the business taxes proposed by the Governor is an idea worth pursuing, but there is some concern that his proposal to change the state pension system could run into legal problems with the state labor unions.
The Governor says the only missing part of the discussions now is what the leaders of his own party are willing to do.
“What I proposed is that the Democrats complete the process, that is the (Democratic) legislative leaders put their cards on the table and get the staffs working on it,” said Malloy.
It sounded today that the Democratic leadership is now realizing that many of the promises made in their budget can not be kept because of the reality that the state’s economy is not bouncing back the way they had projected.
“We have a different reality economically in this state and that we need to have adjustments. We need to adjust expectations throughout the state as to what we can sustain over the next several years,” said Rep. Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) the Speaker of the House.
That “different reality” has now been made even more clear with the latest projection for next year which shows another 400 million in red ink and a massive amount of red ink for the year after that.