And Then There Were Two

Connecticut is one of only two states that have yet to pass a budget for this fiscal year

The budget battle in Hartford continues, as both sides met again Tuesday but remain at odds.

The closed-door talks between the Democrats -- including Senate President Donald Williams (Brooklyn) and House Speaker Chris Donovan (Meriden) -- and the Republican Governor, M. Jodi Rell.  The meeting with aides from both sides lasted just a couple of hours, according to Williams.  Some progress was made, but not much, according to both sides.

"Every time we talk there's some progress, but we don't have an agreement," said Donovan.

"Are we making huge progress? The answer is no.  We're making small, small steps," said Rell.

After the talks wrapped up, the legislature's top democrats stopped by the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, protesting spending cuts in the governor's proposed budget.  Among the cuts they object to are cuts to tourism programs, including the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, that attract visitors and revenue from outside the state.

"We found for every dollar we spend in tourism in the state we gain $51 in returns," said Donovan.

Tourism dollars account for just a fraction of their budget differences.  The governor's latest budget cuts spending and increases taxes by almost $400 million dollars.  Democrats want to increase taxes by almost $1.8 billion dollars, mostly on the wealthy.

Connecticut is just one of just two states still without a budget.  When will both sides meet again? We're told possibly Wednesday ...if there's something to talk about.

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