Lawmakers back behind closed doors for state budget negotiations

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

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Back at it at the Capitol. The highest ranking Republican and Democratic leaders of the Assembly go back behind closed doors for a fifth day of negotiations without the Governor and Democrats sound optimistic and Republicans are non committal.

Sen. Martin Looney, the Senate Democratic leader said Wednesday night they could be ready to present a proposed budget to the Governor as soon as Friday.

Republican leaders wouldn’t make such speculation. The sides do seem to be closing in on an education cost sharing formula that they think would be more fair than the Governor’s Executive Order which gives education funding to the state’s 30 neediest communities but cuts or eliminates state funding to all the others.

But Republicans also insist their plan to include savings on state employee pensions in the future be included in any final deal.

Democratic leaders and the Governor are opposed to this. The Governor says it would end up in a costly legal battle with the state labor unions.

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