Lawmakers hope to vote on state budget soon - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers hope to vote on state budget soon

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Lawmakers said they arrived at an agreement on a state budget. (WFSB) Lawmakers said they arrived at an agreement on a state budget. (WFSB)

State leaders continued their budget talks into the wee hours of Tuesday morning and said they emerged with a bipartisan deal.

Lawmakers continued working on the details when the reconvened later Tuesday morning. They said there could be a vote as early as Wednesday or possibly Thursday.

This comes after they struck a tentative agreement last week.

After long days of closed door budget talks, legislative leaders said they will present the deal to Gov. Dannel Malloy on Tuesday. 

They worked until around 2 a.m. under intense pressure to resolve the crisis.

On Tuesday, some harsh words were said as the final hours approached.

"We are negotiating from draconian cuts from a governor - who is a bully and a baby," said Republican State Rep. and Minority Leader Themis Klarides.

Not too long after the leader's remarks, Gov. Malloy's Communications Director Kelly Donnelly released a statement that said "Rep. Klarides is channeling the language and tactics of President Trump, which is fitting given her support for him. She's clearly upset that the Governor's strong advocacy against stealing from our pension funds forced Republicans to abandon that bad idea. We can only hope that her tantrums are an indication that she had to give up on other budget gimmicks and phony math in order to come to a budget agreement. Rep. Klarides’ political posturing and bluster over the past few days is nothing short of revolting. She’s the only one lobbing personal insults at anyone and trying to scapegoat others for her own failure. Compare that to Governor Malloy, who has delivered balanced budgets every year he's been in office by compromising with legislators, making the necessary hard choices, and raising the bar for honest budgeting practices.”

The state faces a deficit of some $3.5 billion.

A previous Republican-conceived budget that passed was vetoed by Malloy.

The big issues being tackled include a deficit for next fiscal year, funding to cities and towns and a proposal to eliminate the car tax.

Lawmakers said there will be enough time to review the deal's details before they vote.

"We have already briefed our caucus members on the tree tops of the budget, but we will get to the specifics [Wednesday]," said Sen. Bob Duff, Democrat and senate majority leader. "And again, hope for a vote on Wednesday. But again we have talked a lot about the specifics with them and some of the higher details."

"As you assemble the budget, one thing has an impact on another," said Sen. Len Fasano, Republican. "Numbers change and they go up and down and it changes policy. So as you put the puzzle together and you get closer and closer, the pieces get harder and harder to fit."

Both parties said they are proud of the work they have done to reach this point and are hopeful their constituents will approve.

"A lot of work, a lot of hours went into this, and I think everyone with good intention was trying to reach that finish line, and I believe we reached it," Fasano said.

"We have spent a lot of time in a room together to get to this place, and I think the people of Connecticut will be happy with the product that we have," Duff said.

Lawmakers said they will also discuss the possibility of a Malloy veto and if they have enough votes to override it.

Malloy has refused to comment on the budget until he sees it on paper.

However, they said they'll worry about that after they caucus.

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