Deadline for State Budget Deal Nearing

The Connecticut House and Senate disagree on how to run the state after June 30, and both the Senate and the governor are placing the blame on the House.

Governor Dannel Malloy had presented a short-term spending plan that was designed to get the state through the first three months of the fiscal year.

Senate Republicans and Democrats both endorsed the proposal.

Republican Leader Len Fasano said he didn’t think the “mini-budget” would have unanimous support among his caucus, but said considering the options on the table, it was the most palatable.

As for the division between Senate and House Democrats, President Pro Tem Martin Looney said, “In the end we are going to have to be together in a way that we are not right now.”

House Democrats unveiled their two-year spending proposal the day before the fiscal year ends. They were unsuccessful back in April when they tried to have the Appropriations Committee approve a spending plan.

Their proposal includes raising the sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.99 percent, and the extra earnings would be devoted to supporting local government.

“The number, 6.99, allows us to keep municipalities whole for the most part,” said Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, the Speaker of the House.

Aresimowicz said the mini-budget proposal is, “dead,” and has circled July 18 as a date to vote on the House Democrats’ budget.

“It’ll go up on the board on July 18 and we’re comfortable we’ll pass it,” he proclaimed.

Without seeing the details of the plan, but armed with the knowledge of the sales tax increase, Rep. Themis Klarides, the Republican Minority Leader in the House, revealed there is sharp division between the parties.

“There are tax increases in there which is something we’ve been talking about for how long, that we certainly cannot support.”

Malloy placed all of the blame squarely on the shoulders of the House.

He accused them bucking their responsibility to approve a spending plan before the end of the fiscal year, and felt they were doing taxpayers a disservice by not having a serious proposal until there was one day left in the fiscal year.

“What I’m saying is that Republicans and Democrats should be here and they should be here tomorrow, just like I’ll be here tomorrow.”

When asked about the House Democrats budget, the governor said it falls far short being a serious a budget document.

“There’s probably more holes in this than swiss cheese,” he said.

Contact Us