GOP state budget passes House, Senate; Gov. says he will veto - WFSB 3 Connecticut

GOP state budget passes House, Senate; Gov. says he will veto

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The House passed the GOP state budget early Saturday morning. (WFSB) The House passed the GOP state budget early Saturday morning. (WFSB)
Lawmakers were at the State Capitol until the early hours on Saturday. (WFSB) Lawmakers were at the State Capitol until the early hours on Saturday. (WFSB)
Minority Leader Themis Klarides said she hopes the governor will at least consider the proposal. (WFSB) Minority Leader Themis Klarides said she hopes the governor will at least consider the proposal. (WFSB)
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said the passing of the GOP budget was "all about the process." (WFSB) House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said the passing of the GOP budget was "all about the process." (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The Republican version of the state budget proposal was passed by the House and the Senate, but the governor said he won't sign it when it gets to his desk.

It has been 79 days without a state budget for Connecticut.  

The vote by the House came down around 2 a.m. While lawmakers are calling the turn of events historic, but Gov. Dannel Malloy has already said he plans to veto it.

I believe the amended budget that passed in the Senate today is unbalanced, and if it were to reach my desk I would veto it. It relies on too many unrealistic savings, it contains immense cuts to higher education, and it would violate existing state contracts with our employees, resulting in costly legal battles for years to come. If the responsible solution I negotiated with Democrats isn’t going to pass, then it is incumbent on the legislature to reach a new agreement soon – one that is realistic and, ideally, bipartisan," Malloy said in a statement on Friday night. 

Eyewitness News reached out to the governor’s office on Saturday.

“I don't get frustrated. This is all about the process. I'm about moving the state of Connecticut forward. It's not a Democrat or Republican thing for me,” House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said. “It's about doing what we can do to make the state a better place."      

The house speaker reacted to the GOP budget moving to the governor's desk after it passed the House.

Hours before made it through the Senate where Democrats Joan Hartley, Paul Doyle, and Gayle Slossberg voted to support it-surprising their party. The GOP proposal passed by 21-15 vote in the Senate.

"Today was a very difficult decision. I am sure many colleagues are furious with me, but I did what I was elected to do by people of the state of Connecticut. I did what I thought was right today," Doyle said.

The Republican budget will now head to the governor, who has remained out of sight.  

"But it isn’t a shift for me. I have consistently been in favor of reaching a sensible, realistic budget – one that is balanced honestly and that continues to make progress on Connecticut’s long-term fiscal challenges. Those are not partisan goals, nor should they be," Malloy said. "It’s why I began inviting all legislative leaders – Democrat and Republican – into my office last year, well before this session began. And it’s why I continued those meetings throughout the regular session

Minority Leader Themis Klarides said she hopes the governor will at least consider the proposal, which she says is a bi-partisan compromise.

“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.  

Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto released a statement after the budget vote. 

“There have been a lot of questions about what transpired in the legislature in the past day. But the reality is evident: the Republicans’ unbalanced and unsustainable budget attacks our system of collective bargaining, shreds public higher education in Connecticut, abandons our neighbors suffering from crumbling foundations, blocks our cities from becoming economic engines for our state, and fails our students, who are looking for an opportunity to succeed in the future," Balletto said.

Balletto said he has "traveled to all corners of the state in recent months, talking to those who felt left out of our political system and are making their voice heard since Donald Trump was elected."

"I can assure you that there is a groundswell of grassroots supporters who believe in our values and that what we are fighting for is right. They will not be slowed down in this effort to move Connecticut forward," Balletto said. "They are ready to stand up — and we are ready to work with them and our elected leadership — to fight for Democratic candidates and elected officials who will defend our state’s values."

Balletto said he wanted to be clear and added the party will "support the Democrats who continue to demonstrate that they stand up for our party’s value."

"I want to thank our legislative leaders and those in the legislature who made their voices heard over these past two days. I am proud that they made the hard choice to stand up for the future of our state and I will be standing with them on the front lines as they fight to grow our economy and support all communities and institutions that make Connecticut stronger and more prosperous," Balletto said.

If the governor does veto the budget, lawmakers have until Oct. 1 to get a budget signed or there will be another executive order.

To read the updated Republican budget, click here

For more information on the structural changes and municipal mandate relief in the GOP budget, click here

To read the Republican post SEBAC adjustments, click here

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