Deadline Nears, Lawmakers Far Apart

House Speaker Christopher Donovan put it this way:  "Let's get together, Democrats, the Governor, Republicans, and say, look, times are tough, and, as hard as it will be to swallow, come up with the best  budget we can for the people of Connecticut."

Donovan would balance the budget for this year, and for the next two fiscal years, with a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Governor Rell, so far, has said that unless more spending cuts are agreed to, it's impossible to talk about what taxes are needed to fund a new budget.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are saying Democrats have been reluctant to talk about spending cuts and, instead, would tax our way out of the deficits.  Democrats counter by saying it's only being realistic that some tax increases are inevitable.

The question is, will a plan be voted on, approved, and signed by Governor Rell by the June 3 adjournment date?  Donovan says it can be done; Republicans say it's virtually impossible.  And if the Republicans are right, that will make for a long summer, maybe continuing into the fall, as lawmakers try to pass a balanced budget for this fiscal year and for fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

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