Gov. Malloy closes legislative session following difficult budge - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Gov. Malloy closes legislative session following difficult budget battle

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Lawmakers concluded the legislative session early Thursday morning with a bipartisan budget agreement. (WFSB) Lawmakers concluded the legislative session early Thursday morning with a bipartisan budget agreement. (WFSB)

Early Thursday morning, the governor closed the legislative session for the last time after a long and difficult budget battle.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is not seeking re-election after two terms, did not speak to lawmakers until after midnight.

The speech is a tradition to close the session.

He made some jokes, but also said he was proud of the lawmakers for coming together, in the end, to get the job done.

"It is my great hope that in the coming years those who replace the executive branch and those who will continue to serve or will replace those of you who are leaving, will, in fact, continue to work on reinforcing fiscal discipline in the state of Connecticut, doing what's necessary for us to shore up our balance sheet," Malloy said.

After months of struggling to reach a budget agreement, lawmakers knew the session wouldn't be easy.

Democrats and Republicans agreed upon a bipartisan deal that restores aid to cities and towns, fully funds the Medicare Savings Plan and funds currently on-hold transportation projects over the next five years.

The budget uses taxes from new car sales to generate $375 million. In addition, state bonding will increase from $900 million to $1 billion.

Tolls and recreational marijuana didn't make the cut. However, they could come up again next year when there are many new faces in the legislature.

Malloy said he hopes lawmakers can continue to build on the progress made over the last eight years he was in office.

"I will say that I commend you on working together once again," Malloy said. "Bipartisanship is something to be celebrated. It’s something to be fostered in the years ahead."

While the governor clashed with some lawmakers over his terms, he pointed out the progress. He said they've worked together on labor agreements that are saving the state $42 billion over 20 years, lowered state spending and created an executive branch of government that's 13 percent smaller with staffing levels at their lowest since 1975.

The state's "rainy day" fund is also set to reach a billion dollars.

"For all of this, I thank you," Malloy said. "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your 88th governor."

Now that the budget has passed, Malloy will spend the next few days going through it.

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