Lawmakers making progress in budget talks but still need more time to work out a deal

- FILE - The Connecticut Senate Chamber (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Budget talks at the state capitol is ongoing. So far, there’s no deal in sight.

Despite continuous talks among lawmakers, there is still a long way to go. We are now at day 104 without a budget.

Legislative leaders will meet later Thursday morning for day 5 of discussions this week. As that’s happening, the governor is preparing his own budget plan so that everyone can compare notes. He says he’ll probably finish his, right around the same time as republicans and democrats finish theirs. Lawmaker say they’re making progress but as of right now it’s not enough to reach an agreement.

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“I think what we have done over the last few days has been a really good step forward. And I think we are moving in the right direction,” said Joe Aresimowicz, Speaker of the House.

“We have hope or we wouldn’t be in the room we’ve agreed on numerous things but there are still very serious issues we have to work,” said Themis Klarides, House Republican Leader.

Here’s something else that’s complicating matters.The window for Connecticut to apply to the federal government to change Medicaid reimbursements to the state’s hospitals is quickly closing.

It’s an important part of any budget solution because with that change, hospitals have agreed to a hike in the hospital tax that would generate some 300-million dollars a year. Without that the state would go further into the red.

Democrats say they are hoping to have a budget deal for the governor to consider by Friday. However, leaders from both parties agree. There will be no budget vote this week.

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