Progress being made on state budget

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Last week, Governor Dannel Malloy said lawmakers are hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars apart. However, after working weekends and holidays, progress is being made on a state budget.

Lawmakers say they are down to about $100 million.

Democrats and Republicans stood side-by-side in the empty halls of the state capitol, working on the holiday. They’re going through the budget line by line, starting with the most important item first says House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R).

“Towns and cities are the most affected at this point and we want to make sure that we get the right budget done for the state of Connecticut which means it doesn’t get rushed,” she stated. “But there is a sense of urgency and that is why we were here all day and will continue to do that.”

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Now, more than 100 days past the budget deadline, lawmakers say they want to put forth the budget that will be truly bipartisan.

“It has been a great meeting and we are all bending enough to get to the budget and we just want to make sure we complete that over the next few days,” said Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz.

The Governor was hoping to have a budget by Friday. But even with the marathon sessions on weekends and holidays, lawmakers aren’t sure that will happen.

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Democratic Senate President Martin Looney says that is a long shot, because once they’re done with the budget, it has to go to the Governor and they expect that there will be more negotiations once that happens.

“Because we expect he will react to that so that will take some additional time this week, so at this point it looks like we will be into next week before we will be able to vote on a final product,” Sen. Looney said.

Lawmakers say they will be back at the capitol on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. to continue their work.

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