Democrats call for public budget talks as revenues suffer

- FILE - The Connecticut Senate Chamber (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Senate Democrats say because Connecticut is facing such “dire circumstances,” state budget negotiations should be held in public and not behind closed doors, as is the tradition.

Monday’s suggestion by Democratic leadership comes as budget offices for the General Assembly and governor are expected to release state revenue estimates both agree upon. Those figures will likely show a large decline in personal income tax collections.

Senate President Martin Looney of New Haven says the idea of opening negotiations to public scrutiny and airing them on the Connecticut Network is not about the legislature’s close partisan makeup.

There are an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate while Democrats have a seven-vote advantage in the House of Representatives.

Looney says the time has come for a dramatic change.

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