While Connecticut has been without a state budget for 104 days, legislative leaders said they are continuing to make progress after they met again on Thursday for several hours.
Republican and Democratic leaders said much has been agreed upon but there are some serious issues still being worked on.
“It’s more painful than you can imagine. I didn't say I didn't like you,” Minority Leader Themis Klarides said. “But, the fact is the more information you have the better you are. So, we may not certain topics but the more nuances we learn the more open we are and vice versa."
Both sides have been meeting steadily all week and they said it hasn't been easy.
"The larger issues, a spending cap, ESC, teachers’ retirements,” House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said.
The governor said he's glad both sides are talking, but added its time to pick up the pace.
"I think it’s time for people to realize that we have done damage to Connecticut by not having a budget in place by June 30th that's a requirement and every day, this goes by it gets worse,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
As talks continue, jobs are at stake as companies are hesitating to move or expand and the state is in limbo. Cities and towns are poised to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
The City of Hartford on the verge of bankruptcy can't afford to wait much longer.
"We have an obligation to our residents and our businesses not to fall off a cliff. If the state of Connecticut doesn't have a budget in place to prepare and be ready for whatever comes,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said.
The state has been without a budget for some four months. A number of deadlines have been set with one was set for this Friday, but now that's being pushed to next week.
At one point on Thursday, the governor referenced the pace of the talks as being somewhat nonchalant that we are blowing through yet another deadline.
Leaders are expected to talk again on Friday at some point.
In a statement on Thursday, Senate Republican President Len Fasano said “The governor’s daily press conferences and snide comments from the sidelines are extremely unproductive. The governor has been nothing but an impediment to the budget process, and it has been helpful to remove him from our conversations. I appreciate and respect the efforts of Democrat legislative leaders who have been willing to work together in truly bipartisan negotiations and have thoughtful and productive policy discussions in recent days. In case the governor has forgotten, the legislature passed a balanced budget with bipartisan support. He vetoed that budget and plunged our state into chaos. His decisions are starving nonprofits and killing core social services. His actions are devastating schools and leading to teacher layoffs and pain throughout our towns and cities. Governor Malloy’s actions have created the fiscal problems that have been scaring businesses and jobs away from our state for years. Legislators did pass a budget. And we are now working together in an honest effort to again create another budget that can pass the legislature.”
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