Day 110: CT lawmakers come to tentative, bipartisan agreement - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Day 110: CT lawmakers come to tentative, bipartisan agreement

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Lawmakers continue to try and hammer out a state budget deal. (WFSB) Lawmakers continue to try and hammer out a state budget deal. (WFSB)

On day 110 without a state budget, Democratic and Republican lawmakers said they have come together on a tentative, bipartisan agreement.

Republican and Democratic leaders made the major announcement on Wednesday afternoon after more closed-door meetings in Hartford.

"We are in a very good place," House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said. "We are confident that we can come to a budget document that can be voted on in the near future."

After butting heads and painful negotiations, legislative leaders said they have agreed on important issues.

"You have six leaders from both sides who got together and said this state is important to us. Towns are important to us," Senate President Len Fasamo said. "Constituents are important to us. We have to find a way to look past ourselves and make a deal."

Legislative leaders said the talks have paid off and plan to give their agreement to governor. Their bi-partisan tentative deal is near completion, but not completed.

"If I ever came out and said I had a budget in my head, but I am still arguing with myself and therefore I can't tell you details but believe me I have it, you wouldn't believe me," Gov. Dannel Malloy said. 

Following the lawmakers' announcement, Malloy said he was hopeful, but also skeptical of the deal. 

"If I told you I had a deal with the other side on passing a budget. Democrats and Republicans, we have a deal," Malloy said. "You would rightfully demand I show you a copy of that budget. That's not where we are today where we are is an agreement on principle."

Malloy said it's hard to make a judgment on something he has not seen and will reserve opinion until he sees it.

Legislative leaders said they have agreed on major issues such as a spending cap and a bonding cap. They are still working out final details on money to cities and towns.

"Many of us wanted a bi-partisan budget and this is one we can present him with," Senate President Martin Looney said. 

The governor's proposal to have cities and town share in the cost of teacher's retirement, a Republican plan to change pension benefits for state workers in 10 years are out and the hospital deal to generate millions in increased taxes is on hold.

Few other details were released on Wednesday afternoon and leaders said they want to share with their caucuses before releasing more details.

 "We all have caucuses. We have to speak to and talk about the principles of the deal and get their feedback," Aresimowicz said. "It's going to require in our opinion 101 votes in house and 24 votes in Senate."

"Clearly our priority is our caucus and we have to cause these issues first and not fair to hear about a tentative agreement from all of you," Minority Leader Themis Klarides said.  

Lawmakers said they see Wednesday's announcement as a key moment in a difficult battle that has seen Connecticut without a new two-year budget since July.

With a tentative agreement reach on Wednesday, the goal would be to have a vote next week.  

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of the state budget crisis.

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