Budget negotiations conclude; $700 million in concessions a must

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–Legislative leaders and the Governor are all on the same page on one budget crisis solution;  the state labor unions must agree to major concessions.  The ritual of all the legislative leaders coming to the Governor’s office for final budget negotiations has been a familiar sight in the past but things have never been this desperate.

After an hour they emerged and agreed on one thing; a minimum of $700 million in state employee concessions is a must.  “That piece is even more essential now than it was before because as the overall deficit is larger, that piece of it is absolutely crucial. The Governor said they’re still working on that, they’re not there yet,” said Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) the Senate President Pro tem.

Earlier today the Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) asked and answered what can only be described as the 100 million dollar question at the Capitol,  “Are we going to raise taxes here in the State of Connecticut?  I would imagine we do in some way, shape or form…but what form that takes on over the next few weeks is going to be very important.”

Governor Malloy also said today,  “This cannot be a revenue driven discussion. I’ve acknowledged many times that revenue might be part of it but it’s not a revenue driven decision. We need to get out economic houses in order.”

A schedule for more talks is being worked out.  A legislative leader saying they are awaiting numbers on cost cutting from the Governor’s budget office before they can meet again.

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