HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Day 110 without a state budget, and the top leaders of the General Assembly say that have an agreement “in principle.” Details are slim, but it appears they will attempt to pass this plan whether the Governor likes it or not.
Late Wednesday afternoon, all of the leaders emerged from their latest negotiation session and the House Speaker, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) said, “We are in a very good place. We’re confident that we can come to a budget document to be voted on in the near future.”
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The leaders made it clear that while they would like Governor Malloy’s stamp of approval on their deal, they are aiming to pass their plan with a veto-proof majority. Rep. Aresimowicz added, “It’s going to require, in our opinions, 101 votes in the House and 24 votes in the Senate to make its way to the Governor.”
They capped their 13th day of face-to-face negotiations and say funding to the cities and towns would be mostly restored, that the city of Hartford will get a bail out, that cities and towns will not have to contribute to the teacher pension fund, and that a spending and bonding cap will be included. They say they have to keep the outline vague until they can present it to rank and file lawmakers over the next five days.
Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby), the House Republican leader, said, “Nothing can happen until we go to our caucuses, let them know what the tentative ideas are and see if they like it or not. I cannot stress that enough. This is not a dictatorship at least on this side of the second floor.”
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The leaders placed a phone call to the Governor and plan to give him details on Friday. He sounded skeptical, saying, “I’m glad the leaders believe that they have made progress towards a deal that I can support. As the Speaker said; I’ve made it exceptionally clear what I believe constitutes a good balanced budget.”
Republican and Democratic members of the House are scheduled to get the complete details in those caucus meetings on Thursday. We would expect more details to leak out after that. Senators will get the details in their caucus meetings on Monday.
They hope to hold votes in the House and Senate next week but will not give a specific day because a number of details are yet to be ironed out.
Connecticut residents were very vocal on Wednesday regarding their thoughts on the state budget process.
“I feel like they are just running us around and making promises they don’t cash in on,” stated Michael Marshall Jr of Hartford. “I want to know what’s going on, where my money is going, what’s going to be done, when can I see results? When are things going to get better?
Some residents even said they would consider a move out of The Nutmeg State if things didn’t improve.
“Just get it over with already,” said Robin Emmons of Wallingford. “I mean, before the state falls apart and the rest of us leave the state.”
Nicolina Signorello of Wethersfield shared a similar sentiment, saying, “It is what it is and if we don’t like it, I guess we are going to have to move.”
WEB EXTRA: Residents react to state budget news