The General Assembly is halfway through the 2017 Session but it’s a long way from passing anything that looks like a spending plan for the next two years.
With that timeline, the governor held a press conference in his State Capitol office to urge movement on the spending plan he put forward last month.
"This is not going to be a revenue driven solution,” Gov. Malloy said. “This is going to be an expenditure driven solution.”
The governor’s budget includes $700 million in organized labor givebacks, a shift of $400 million in teacher pension payments to cities and towns, and no new taxes, though there are some controversial fee increases like those on owning guns.
The governor said the lynchpin of the budget is finding middle ground with state employees on concessions, for whom he included hundreds of millions of pay increases in his budget.
"If we don't get that, everything is going to be that much harder."
Republicans said Tuesday that they would present their own budget proposal in the coming weeks. Rep. Vin Candelora, a Republican leader in the House, said he would expect a GOP-authored budget to be released around the time the Appropriations Committee completes its analysis and public hearings.
Candelora agrees that union concessions are the most critical element of the budget process.
"They've got to come to the table whether they like it or not,” Candelora said.
The governor said he will only sign a budget that directly addressed what he laid out in his state budget address.
“While I am fully ready and willing to negotiate with the Legislature, any budget that I sign will include meaningful reform in these areas.”
Republicans say their budget will reflect their priorities, but perhaps most importantly from their perspective a budget that represents their increased standing in the General Assembly.
"The chamber is so tight between Democrats and Republicans I feel like we have an obligation to put something forward."