NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The public pressure on House leaders is mounting on Wednesday night to vote on the Governor’s 90 day mini budget plan. The alternative of the Governor running the state by Executive Order would have almost immediate impact on thousands of Connecticut residents.
The Governor and the Republican and Democratic leaders of the State Senate are ready to act to avoid fiscal calamity next week. Governor Malloy is stepping up the public pressure on the House of Representatives to vote on his proposed mini budget. At an event launching this year’s tennis tournament in New Haven on Wednesday Malloy said, “I think it’s a dereliction of duty for the Democrats and Republican House members not to come in and to vote on the mini budget.”
But, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz confirmed to News 8 on Wednesday afternoon that there will be no votes on Thursday. Republican Senate President Pro tem Len Fasano of North Haven was also at the tennis event on Wednesday and added, “The Governor’s going to put an Executive Order in which is going to be disastrous for social services for municipalities, you name it.”
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The first ‘you name it’ will be hundreds of school kids in the Greater New Haven area that will not get their expected summer jobs because the funding has been pulled. “We had to notify the towns early this week that the likelihood of the summer program happening was pretty slim and at this point we had no funding to contract with them to run the program,” said Bill Villano of Workforce Alliance, the agency that administers the program to the cities and towns. The City of New Haven has 600 kids in line for the jobs and city youth director says they’ll still get them and hopes the funding will be restored later.
Another big hit will be the so called Pequot Fund, which includes payments from the slot revenues at the casinos. That along with several other municipal programs will end. New Haven Mayor Toni Harp says it’s about 15 percent of her budget. She says that police and fire won’t be touched but no promises elsewhere. “Every other department is really up for grabs. We’re going to have to ask them to become much more efficient and to downsize. We may have to look at layoffs.”
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The Governor says to avoid this calamity the House Speaker and Republican Leader Themis Klarides must come together before Friday night. “Themis should come forward with half of her folks and the Speaker should come forward with half of his folks and they have until 11:59/59 that night to get this thing done,” said Gov. Malloy.
Republican and Democratic Senate leaders say they are ready to pass the 90 day mini budget and all their members will be at the State Capitol ready for debate on Thursday. The members of the House will continue to talk among themselves.
The Speaker of the House issued a statement late this afternoon saying he is now ready to work all night toward passing the mini budget if everyone is also taking the next step of using it as a pathway to a full two year plan.