Legislators continue talks about state budget - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Legislators continue talks about state budget

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State Capital (WFSB) State Capital (WFSB)

Wednesday was round-two of emergency bipartisan budget talks on how to plug the growing deficit hole.

The consensus is that the state needs at least $350 million to balance the budget, and the next step is how that gets done.

"Our goal is to make the state the best it can be,” said Republican Minority Leader State Rep. Themis Klarides.

Bipartisan leaders met for the second time with Gov. Dannel Malloy where they nailed down what the state needs to balance the budget.

"We didn't talk about ideas today, it was about getting a number,” said Republican State Senator Len Fasano.

Malloy had proposed cuts to hospitals and social services, which is something republicans and democrats want to avoid, so they know they have to find money from somewhere else.

Malloy has reduced the state workforce by 1,000 in four years, and he said he is ready to eliminate another 500 through attrition.

"I hope they put ideas on the table. I have put ideas on the table,” Malloy said.

Republicans said some cost saving measures promised by state unions four years ago were not achieved and they are hoping for some concessions during upcoming contract negotiations.

However, the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition, which represents about 45,000 union workers, said “Hard sacrifices in wages and benefits by Connecticut state employees since 2011 continue to provide $1 billion a year in savings to the budget.”

The plan is to meet once per week for a few weeks to make decisions.

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