Lawmakers still at odds over state budget - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers still at odds over state budget

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

Lawmakers returned to the state Capitol on Monday for the third special session since June, but they still have not passed a budget.

However, the House of Representatives is voting on union concessions, more than $1 billion in givebacks.

The house speaker says there will be a vote on union concessions, however, Republicans have no intention of approving those concessions.

The GOP says the numbers are not adding up.

"There is no detail what so ever,” said Republican State Senator Len Fasano.

State union workers voted and have agreed to $1.5 billion in givebacks, but Republicans say details are missing, such as wage contracts for about 30 bargaining units.

They said until they have all of the numbers, they won’t support the agreement.

"There's no reason to rush it. How do you vote on something you don't know the cost,” Fasano said.

The latest clash comes as both sides have failed pass a budget, forcing the governor to make cuts to critical services.

"We will revive and continue to talk about that fact that legislative Republicans have had between 6 and 8 balanced budgets that will move the state of Connecticut forward and we will ask that budget be called again today,” said Republican State Rep., and Minority Leader, Themis Klarides.

"Her budget is not only not balanced but it's illegal and won't pass the Senate so what would it be more than a political statement for someone running for governor,” said Democratic State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz.

In the meantime, Gov. Dannel Malloy said both sides need to reach an agreement and if they can’t then they should pass a mini budget.

"If there's not going to be a budget shortly and we are now past three weeks, we should pass a mini budget which is what I tried to get them to do in June,” Malloy said.

The House Speaker says it’s possible they could have a budget by the end of the month which is only one week away.

Cities and towns that depend on state money are feeling the pinch.

Out of 61 communities surveyed, half have implemented a spending freeze and a few are looking at tax increases.

Twenty-nine now have some type of spending freeze, when it comes to hiring, capital spending, and they’re deferring buying equipment and construction projects.

Twenty-eight are cutting back on service cutbacks, which includes reducing education positions, police overtime, and summer youth programs.

A few towns, Bloomfield and East Hartford, have raised property taxes slightly, expecting the state will give them the bare minimum.

"Even if we had a budget by June 7, towns and cities have mostly adopted their budget before then, so now we are so far behind the 8 ball,” Klarides said.

What's made this even more complicated and stressful for towns is that when a budget is passed, many will have to make changes because the numbers will be different.

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