CT GOP Leaders: Budget Action Needed Now

House and Senate Republican leaders responded Tuesday to Gov. Dannel Malloy's request for ideas on how to fill a growing budget hole that currently sits at about $250 million.

The minority party's alternative budget was largely panned last year but this year they argue is different. They say they have tangible solutions that can be incorporated into a bipartisan budget package.

“The money we have, we need to make sure we use every penny to its fullest and we prioritize," said Rep. Themis Klarides, (R - Derby), the Minority Leader in the Connecticut House of Representatives.

The package of ideas includes 15 percent spending cuts in specific programs across state government. They also want to have the General Assembly approve all labor negotiated contracts and enforce the state's spending cap.

The Republican budget proposals fend off layoffs by instead calling for furloughs.

The measure to restore millions in funding to hospitals came as Bristol Hospital is asking people to pen letters to lawmakers and the governor insisting that they be spared from budget cuts.

“It’s preserving non profit funding. It’s preserving hospital funding. It’s preserving the things that we know need it the most, and right now, folks, we don’t have a lot of money," said Klarides.

Sen. Len Fasano, (R - North Haven), the top Republican in the State Senate, said he wants to see action within the next ten days, roughly a month before the state gets news about income tax receipts. He criticized Democrats saying, “Their hesitation is devastation to the state.”

House Speaker Rep. Brendan Sharkey said some of the proposals could be part of a bipartisan budget filling measure, but did criticize Republicans for their partisan rhetoric.

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