3 plans, 5 days, negotiators not close

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There are now three budget plans on the table at the State Capitol to cover that billion dollar budget hole and nobody likes the other guy’s plan. A source close to the negotiations tells News 8 that a “large gap” between all the plans still exists as negotiations are just beginning with only five full days remaining in the General Assembly session.

“I think it’s unfortunate that it took so long to get to this point where everyone put their cards on the table and I’m not sure that this is going to do it, but we’re going to work hard at it,” said Governor Malloy in his first comments since the Democratic leadership presented their version of how to solve the massive red ink problem on Thursday.

Related Content: Connecticut lawmakers hope to vote on budget in coming days

Both the Republicans and the Governor had presented their proposals for closing the approximately $930 million dollar hole earlier in the month.

The Democratic leadership says they are working and will work through the weekend with the Governor’s budget staff with a goal of finding a spending cut plan that he would sign. Republican leaders and the business community are scoffing at the Democrat’s plan to have businesses voluntarily pay taxes in advance in return for tax cuts later.

Related Content: Connecticut state employee layoffs at a glance

“We call it the ‘whimpy’ gimmick. I’ll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven).

For those of you not old enough to get the ‘Popeye’ cartoon reference to the hamburger eating character ‘Whimpy,’ the head of the state’s largest business association, Joe Brennan, puts it this way, “Pushing more off into the future, which is part of the reason we’re in this trouble we’re in from pushing too much debt into the future.”

Related Content: Connecticut governor releases new budget proposal

But the Democrat’s plan does restore funding to the state’s hospitals something the Republicans want as well. It also restores funding to the towns for things like education and other town services. which is also high on the Republicans’ wish list. Both the Democrats and the Republicans favor preserving the cut in the so called ‘Car Tax‘ this July. Something everyone thinks will help them at the ballot box in November.

The Democratic leader in the Senate, Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven), is denying a rampant Capitol rumor that Democrats plan to just pass a budget and go home and deal with the deficit after the election saying, “No, that’s not something that we’re planning.”

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