State lawmakers seek to boost minority teacher recruitment


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he won't meet with legislative leaders to discuss their tentative budget framework until they have a document for him to review.

The Democrat was initially expected to meet Friday, and then Saturday, with lawmakers to review the bipartisan agreement. But on Friday, Malloy told reporters he wants "a full document I can review and then we'll meet."

"I need time to review it," Malloy said.

Democrat and Republican leaders said they worked out a bipartisan deal earlier this week. They said it's full of compromises.

On day 112 without a state budget, Malloy is skeptical about the agreement and whether it will ultimately be something he can sign into law.

Gov Malloy - still hasn't seen tentative agreement on state budget #wfsb— Susan Raff (@SusanRaff1) October 20, 2017

Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano is accusing Malloy of holding his "third press conference in a row where he has absolutely nothing helpful to say," calling him an "irrelevant leader trying to make himself relevant."

Legislative staff members have begun finalizing details of a tentative agreement and drafting budget-related documents.

Lawmakers have said that even if Malloy doesn't approve of it, they hope to have enough votes to override a veto.

Party leaders started briefing other lawmakers on Thursday. They said the plan could eliminate the car tax, which is a big money maker for cities and towns. Democrats called the car tax a nuisance and hard for towns to collect.

Leaders from Connecticut cities and towns have strong criticism and said the possibility of eliminating the car tax will be a loss of millions of tax dollars.

"This was really sudden," West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor said. "We didn't expect this."

Cantor said eliminating the car tax would be a loss of about $18 million dollars and the only way to really absorb that loss would be to raise property taxes.

"I see this as a tax shift from motor vehicle property tax to real estate tax," Cantor said. "It doesn't reduce our budget in any way."

When asked about the proposed car tax elimination, the governor said he'll weigh in when he sees the state budget.

"I don't think its a good plan to eliminate revenues from municipalities at the same time you are telling them you are holding them harmless," Malloy said.

The governor said he was surprised by the announcement on Thursday. Although he proposed eliminating the car tax four years ago, the difference was it only applied to cars less than $20,000. This time it's not only late in the game, but Malloy added details are sketchy because leaders still have not given him an actual budget.

Officials with the Greater Hartford Associations of Realtors said only renters would benefit. For the rest, it's just a tax and a feel good measure that would hurt towns.

"In a market that is already suffering, we are in a place where very few states have not rebounded from the downturn and we are one of those states," Carl Lantz with the Greater Hartford Associations of Realtors said. "It's a fragile market out there. People insecure as it is and adding higher property taxes is not a good idea."

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

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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