CT lawmakers prepare for special session - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT lawmakers prepare for special session

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Lawmakers are preparing for a special session (WFSB) Lawmakers are preparing for a special session (WFSB)

Lawmakers ended this year’s legislative session at midnight without an agreement to solve the state's multi-million dollar deficit.

Now, they will have a special session.    

The state capitol was a ghost town on Thursday after the regular session ended on Wednesday. However, there was still plenty of unfinished business.

As a tradition, the governor addresses lawmakers at the end of a legislative session, but not this year.  

"This wasn't about liking this or not liking it or whether it passes or voting for it,” Minority Leader Themis Klarides said. “It's about knowing what it is."

Republicans said the Democratic majority dragged its feet and then in the eleventh hour tried to cram a budget down their throats.

"Ninety-five percent of this budget is things that have been around and talked about for the past four weeks,” Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz said. “But to review it completely, we wanted to offer people that amount of time."

Democrats and Gov. Dannel Malloy have been at odds on how to fix the $960 million deficit.

They reached a tentative deal late Tuesday. Malloy said if lawmakers need extra time to understand the details that's fine, but "if this delay begins a discussion about re-opening the agreement in order to find a way to avoid difficult decisions, that’s unacceptable."

Since 2010 there have been eight special sessions, which has cost roughly $88,000.

Lawmakers did pass a number of bills including the following: 

  • protecting victims of domestic violence
  • medical marijuana for those under 18 years old
  • treating opioid abuse with reversal drugs such as Narcan
  • security guards at Connecticut community colleges will now be able to carry guns.

The governor's second chance bill, which raises the age allowing more young adults to be treated as juveniles for certain crimes, did not make it in the regular session. However, it could be taken up in special session.

"You are using an implementer as a backdoor to get something in that you can't get in during session,” Klarides said.

Business leaders said the inability to pass a budget in time sends the wrong message.

"That budget needs to happen because job in Connecticut's workforce depend on stability at the Capitol which breeds confidence with people to invest more jobs and that didn't happen,” Brian Flaherty with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association said.

No dates have been set for a special session, but it's more than likely going to happen next week.  Special sessions cost about $11,000 a day.

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