HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Just three full days remain in the state budget year, and the Connecticut Speaker of the House says there will be no votes on any plan this week. This coming despite the news that the leader in the State Senate is ready to move forward with the Governor‘s 90 day “mini budget” plan which is designed to give lawmakers time to work on a final solution.
The contraction of state spending has already begun. State funds for the youth summer jobs program has already been halted and there are signs tonight that is only the beginning.
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Democratic Senate leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven), who is recovering from recent hip replacement surgery, got the ball rolling Tuesday by endorsing the Governor’s 90-day ‘mini-budget’ plan as the lesser of two evils; because the cuts are not as deep and would give the legislature time to negotiate and complete a two year plan.
“The mini budget would avoid some cuts that would otherwise be made to municipal aid, to hospitals, to not for profit providers,” said the Governor today.
Even the Republican Leader in the Senate hinted today that he might support the mini budget
But the Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) will not budge and says there will be no votes on anything on Thursday, “The lesser of two evils is not good enough for the State of Connecticut. Having a budget that moves the state forward, that shows businesses around the state of Connecticut that we have a plan.
The alternative is the Governor’s Executive Order with even deeper spending cuts especially to municipal aid and social programs.
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“There are going to be people who are going to dramatically suffer as a result of no budget and this Executive Order,” said Republican Senate President Pro tem Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven). House Minority Leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) adding, “You operate on Executive Order you are doing bare bones. It’s a bare bones movement. It’s painful, it’s not anything that any of us should want to happen.” Republicans are pushing for a vote on their budget plans that the Governor has repeatedly said he would veto.
The Speaker says he will not bring up the mini budget and wants to continue to push for a full two year plan that can pass with no estimate on how long that might take saying, “Extending the pain for three months or lessening the pain for three months, I cannot say to my caucus that that’s a good idea. My caucus has said to me repeatedly they don’t think that’s a good idea.”
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The Speaker said he is unlikely to get state reps to come back from vacations to vote on a temporary state budget fix that he’d only be able to get enough members back if it were to vote on a permanent two year plan.
So tonight it appears the Governor will be in charge starting on Saturday and deep cuts across the board will start next week.