Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Connecticut House also passes GOP budget; Malloy veto expected

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides R Derby Connecticut Lawmakers Eye Budget Deal to Close $3.5 Billion Hole
Sammy Stanley | 17 September, 2017, 06:35

Doyle said he was not swayed by Democratic House and Senate members arguments over the past week that a vote against the Democrat-sponsored plan was an endorsement of Gov. Dannel Malloy's executive order that mandates hundreds of millions in spending cuts to cities and towns on October 1.

"There are a handful of Democrats in the House and Senate who had the courage to do what they believe is right, what's best for their districts", Klarides said. Republicans say it achieves $270 million in savings by requiring workers to pay more toward their retirement benefit, eliminating cost of living adjustments until the fund balance of the state employee retirement system is deemed healthy by national standards and by eliminating overtime from the calculation of an employee's salary for pension benefits. Hartford officials have said that city could be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

Larson said that he feels that seven of the 12 were met, but apparently, it wasn't enough.

"Yes, I may be risking my political career", he said.

The Democratic governor and the legislature have yet to approve a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, as well as the following fiscal year.

The series of events means the state will continue to operate under the executive order Malloy signed June 30, and revised in August, for the foreseeable future.

"I'm just very let down by my colleagues", he said.

"There's been significant interest, at least in our caucus, in trying to broaden the base" of the sales tax, Rojas said. "That's kind of the fun of being here".

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"I think they did it because they believe in the state and they want to put CT first and they're looking for a new direction", said Sen. Still, there remain obstacles, including passing the House and getting approval from the governor, he admitted.

Rep. Reed was under pressure to go along with the Democratic budget, and her stance angered party leadership.

Duff said he doubts the three even read the 1,000-page Republican document prior to voting for it, and noted the proposal does not include financial assistance for homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations to the extent of the Democratic proposal. That tax would have raised about $50 million in the first year and $77 million in the second year of the budget.

The budget deal includes a new tax on cellphone bills, at 49 cents a month per line. The GOP proposal passed by 21-15 vote in the Senate.

"It gives the power to the people to make those decisions through their elected representatives, and perhaps through hearings", Davis said of his party's plan. It's going to continue the debate.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy issued a mid-afternoon statement Thursday urging legislators to compromise and adopt the new budget.

"What I think is clear, I think we are seeing the will of what appears to be a majority, a bipartisan majority of the legislature to take the state in a new direction that involves not constantly increasing taxes and spending", she said.

"They made their choice today, but we go on from here", Looney said early Friday.

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