Legislature Passes Republican Budget, Governor Promises Veto

Sen. Len Fasano and Rep. Themis Klarides R-Derby at a press conference

Connecticut Lawmakers Eye Budget Deal to Close $3.5 Billion Hole

The House was expected to begin debate on the budget Thursday night.

Democrats hold a slim majority in the House and are tied with Republicans in the Senate, but Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman would break any tie vote.

Six Democrats in the House were swayed to vote for the Republican plan, which was enough to get it passed by a vote of 78 to 72 Saturday morning, the Courant reports.

The state budget is two months late. "I did what I thought was right today", Doyle said.

The state Senate was expected to take up the budget on Friday.

The GOP plan relies on changes in state employee pensions after the current state union deal ends in 2027. "My leadership is furious with me and is churning out one amendment after another, hoping that one gets approved so that the bill has to go back upstairs to the Senate".

Democratic Gov. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, however, warned Friday that if the Senate's version of the budget reaches his desk, he'll veto it because it is "unbalanced". Hartford officials have said that city could be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

"I just wish they at least had the decency to let us know prior to going out on the floor", he said.

Balletto said he wanted to be clear and added the party will "support the Democrats who continue to demonstrate that they stand up for our party's value".

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If lawmakers fail to pass a spending plan by October 1, even deeper cuts could hit towns across western CT.

Larson noted that should the House adopt the package, and Malloy veto it, it would force the state to be run under the governor's executive order that brings massive municipal cuts.

"Republicans worked so hard, producing a almost 1,000-page document of cuts, prioritized spending, and structural changes", she said in a press release.

As part of the program, an executive administrative position within the governor's office would be created to oversee direct relief to homeowners, Rep. Christopher Davis, R-Ellington, said.

A 49-cent surcharge imposed on monthly cell phone bills would yield $8.9 million this fiscal year and $17.7 million in the second. But the reality is evident: "the Republicans' unbalanced and unsustainable budget attacks our system of collective bargaining, shreds public higher education in CT, abandons our neighbors suffering from crumbling foundations, blocks our cities from becoming economic engines for our state, and fails our students, who are looking for an opportunity to succeed in the future", Balletto said.

"It relies on too many unrealistic savings, it contains enormous cuts to higher education, and it would violate existing state contracts with our employees, resulting in costly legal battles for years to come", said Malloy, "if the responsible solution I negotiated with Democrats isn't going to pass, then it is incumbent on the legislature to reach a new agreement soon - one that is realistic and, ideally, bipartisan".

"But it isn't a shift for me".

Five Democrats in the House broke party ranks and passed the GOP budget before the session ended at 3:15 a.m.

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