Eleven days into the new fiscal year and Connecticut lawmakers still have not agreed on a budget.
On Tuesday lawmakers provided an update. House Republican leaders stood their ground, saying no sales tax increases and demanding their budget be put on the floor for a vote when they meet next week.
The House minority leader continued to press on getting more from the unions, but Governor Dannel Malloy has said it’s unrealistic and that the deal that has been negotiated – which was being voted on by union members Tuesday -is as good as it gets.
House Republicans say they want significant structural changes. Among some of the proposals – they want pension changes for current non-union employees, a three-year wage freeze for state employees, and a 10 percent reduction in the state work force.
“Our caucus is ready, willing and able to sit down and have those conversations. But tax increases - I don't know how else to say it - are not going to get us there. They got us to a $5.1 billion deficit,” said minority leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R- Derby, Orange, Woodbridge).
“Part of budget process is evaluating things. and maybe accepting some things you don’t like to retain the things you do like,” said Speaker of the House Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D- Berlin, Southington).
The House Speaker said in response to the Republican’s budget that he’s interested in going through their proposals. He said he expects a budget to pass by the end of the month – but Republicans are less optimistic.
The House is expected to head back into session to vote on the Democrats’ budget next week.