Sales Tax hike remains option for Dems

- FILE - Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford (WTNH / Mark Davis)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Wednesday’s optimism over finding a state budget solution appears to be going sour.

As the Governor continues to prepare to run the state without the guidance of a budget law from the General Assembly.   Starting July 1st, state government will only have 83 cents coming in for every dollar it spends.

Related Content: House and Senate to unveil state budget plans

Rank and file Democrats in the House and Senate came back to the capitol to meet behind closed doors, so their leaders could measure what ideas for a two-year budget solution would fly. After three hours, it was clear that there is no firm budget plan.

They’re just hoping to cobble something together over the next seven days that can get enough votes to pass.  “We will come in on Thursday (June 29) no matter what and then decide whether it’s going to be a continuing resolution or we’ll cede that authority to the Governor to allow him to do what he needs to do,” said Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) the Speaker of the House.

Related Content: Legislative leaders target June 29 for budget vote

A continuing resolution, technically called an ‘appropriations act’, would be a temporary budget for a period of weeks or months so permanent budget talks could continue.  But it appears doubtful Thursday that even a temporary budget plan can pass in House or Senate.

“The Governor made it clear he would veto any continuing resolution we put together which means there would have to be a veto proof vote on a continuing resolution. I don’t see that happening at this point,” said Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) the House Minority Leader.

Related Content: Connecticut’s current year deficit shrinks to $107.2 million

The House Speaker also said today that the majority of Democrats not only still feel they must preserve all vital services from cuts, they must also preserve aid to the cities and towns so they don’t take a hit so tax hikes remain a major option for them.  Said Aresimowicz,  “If we raise the Sales Tax to 6.99 percent with it going back to the municipalities it would raise somewhere around $460 million.”

That’s almost exactly how much the Governor says he wants the cities and towns to kick in to bail out the state by contributing that amount to the teachers pension fund.

Related Content: Dire predictions about Medicaid funding cuts in Connecticut, expansion of sales tax proposed

“Not everyone has adjusted to the same reality and that  takes time and we’re going to be getting together on Monday at 2 o’clock, thank you,” said Governor Malloy.  Democratic leaders will be crunching more numbers over the weekend and meeting with their Republican counterparts on Monday morning before that meeting with the Governor.

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