Day 74: Republicans present revised state budget proposal - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Day 74: Republicans present revised state budget proposal

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State Republicans presented their latest budget proposal on Tuesday. (WFSB) State Republicans presented their latest budget proposal on Tuesday. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

State Republicans presented their revised state budget proposal on Tuesday.

Lawmakers could vote on a budget as early as Thursday. This as the state continues to operate without a budget for the 74th day.

“Connecticut is at a crossroads and we are facing one of the greatest financial challenges our state has ever seen. In this time of hardship, it is imperative that we send a clear message to the people of Connecticut that we are moving our state in a new direction. We cannot do that with a budget that increases taxes by nearly $1 billion and continues the same policies that have failed our state in the past. We have to rebuild people’s confidence in Connecticut by sending a strong message that we are pursuing change,” Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

According to the Republicans, their two-year budget "would put a stop to the governor’s executive order, restore funding for education and core social services, and provide stability for towns and provide stability for towns and cities." 

“Connecticut Republicans are once again offering a complete, balanced budget proposal that does exactly that. We are offering structural changes to achieve savings in the long term. We are prioritizing funding for the core functions of government, education, transportation and services for individuals with disabilities. We are fairly funding education with a real formula that factors in population, poverty, and need. We are creating stability and predictability for our cities and towns. And we are doing all this by making strategic reductions in the size of government, not by increasing revenue with new taxes on the backs of working and middle class families or our state’s healthcare providers," Klarides and Fasano said. 

Lawmakers said if the gridlock goes past the end of the month, Gov. Dannel Malloy will have to sign another executive order that will include more painful cuts.

Republicans and Democrats have been going back and forth in trying to come up with a plan with which both sides can live.

Republicans said they want a spending cap and Democrats proposed raising the state sales tax, which could be off the table now. However, Democrats do want to impose a restaurant tax of 7 percent along with a hospital tax.

Gov. Malloy offered his revised proposal last week.

He said he wants lawmakers to agree to spending cuts and wants municipalities to share in the cost of teacher pensions. He also wants to change the way education funding is given to a way that favors towns with more needs.

Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington released a statement on the Republican's latest proposal.

“Though it is disappointing Republicans decided to exclude themselves from our ongoing negotiations, we will be going through their revised proposal and if there are new things that are feasible and will help move our state forward they could be included in the final budget," Aresimowicz said. 

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) also released a statement on the Republican's latest proposal.

“This afternoon the governor gave Democratic legislative leaders his response to our latest spending and revenue proposal. Now we have to evaluate and develop a response to the perspectives he offered. Staff and legislative leaders will be working this afternoon and evening to finalize a budget agreement," Looney said. 

The Republicans presented their proposal at 2 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

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