Lawmakers continue to hash out budget deal - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers continue to hash out budget deal

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(WFSB) (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Democrats and Republicans returned to the state capitol on Monday to work on the rest of the details of their budget agreement.

Monday marked 115 days that Connecticut has been without a state budget.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said they reached their tentative deal last week.

Despite the progress, some are concerned that there are problems in it.

Just like they've been doing for the past few weeks, legislative leaders returned to the capitol to meet once again on the state budget.

Last Wednesday they emerged from behind closed doors saying they had a tentative agreement.

But two days later, the governor raised questions on where that deal was, and why he was not able to see it.

State Treasurer Denise Nappier said that with some of the projects that are already underway, the state may have to borrow external money to cover the expenses.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has yet to comment on the agreement and said he won't until he sees its details on paper.

"There are a number of areas out there we still have to work on but a lot of the major issues are almost wrapped up at this point and we went over those things with members of our caucus," said State Senator and Democratic Majority Leader Bob Duff.

Malloy vetoed the last budget, which was a Republican one, despite it gaining bipartisan support.

Connecticut is the only state in the country without a budget.

Because no one has really seen that agreement, few are confident the state's budget crisis is being resolved.

Energy groups are concerned because from what they understand there's a proposal to raid a specific fund paid for utility ratepayers that money has been going to support clean energy programs. Now it may go to the general fund.

"Energy efficiency creates a lot of permanent jobs and it’s the most tangible kind of jobs. We don't migrate out of the state of Connecticut, we create a workforce,” said Vivian Perez, of Energy Solutions.

Cities and towns are still reeling from a surprise announcement at the end of last week about eliminating the car tax.

The fear is that if that's done away with, municipalities will have no other choice but to roll it over into property taxes, and that could be damaging.

"We are afraid it’s going to be shifted completely into real estate taxes which actually hurt the economy and slow or even reverse some business growth that we are seeing in some areas,” said Joe Delong, of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

There may be some adjustments being made to the car tax proposal.

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