Regular session ends, budget stalemate ahead?

- FILE - Legislators at the State Capitol (WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The General Assembly ended its regular session Wednesday night at midnight, and agreed to meet in Special Session later this month to forge a budget deal to close that two year, $5 billion red ink problem; but it appears that the sides may already be heading for a budget stalemate.

One of the things that clearly remains on the table is aid to the cities and towns and that has a potential big impact on your household budget.  The annual summer pilgrimage to your city or town hall to pay the first installment of your Property Taxes comes late next month as the bills will be coming to your home shortly.  But you could be in for a shock with the second payment at the end of the year.  That’s because the Assembly is moving toward allowing cities and towns to adjust tax bills because of the potential of more municipal funding cuts in the final state budget.

Republican leaders are also digging in and say that the state labor union concessions announced by the Governor two weeks ago, while looking pretty good for the next two years, is a bad deal after that.  “What I don’t think is they were anywhere near enough and coupled with a five year extension ties the hands of this state of future Governors, future legislators, and most importantly the citizens of this state.”

Republicans say labor laws covering state employees must be changed. Eliminating over time and arbitration of contract settlements after the current deal expires in four years.  The Speaker of the House, who’se full time job is with one of the state labor unions, says that is not going to be on the table.

The Governor who says his administration has already greatly reduced over time and that the labor concession deal, in addition to saving the targeted one-and-a-half billion over the next two years, will save 24 billion over the next two decades.  “Let me be very clear,” said the Governor,  “that the labor savings meets our target and is an outstanding long term adjustment
to the state’s fiscal difficulties.”

So you can see that this is a very big road block between the sides on getting a budget deal by the end of the month. The state labor union votes on the concession deal are not expected to be completed until the middle of next month.  The Governor say his office is making plans on how to run the state without a state budget starting July 1st.

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