Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Connecticut Gov. Malloy Vows To Veto GOP-Backed Budget Plan

Connecticut Gov. Malloy Vows To Veto GOP-Backed Budget Plan

Hartley, Doyle and Slossberg all warned they would not support the next state budget if it didn't incorporate a series of fiscal reforms they proposed.

Passage of a state budget, now some 10 weeks overdue, would avoid the spending cuts that would take effect on October 1 with Gov. Dannel Malloy's executive order.

Senate Majority Leader Robert Duff, D-Norwalk, said he was caught completely unaware of the three defectors' plans to vote in favor of the Republican budget. Without a new budget, the state will continue to run massively in deficit, forcing Malloy to cut local aid by hundreds of millions of dollars, Democratic leaders said.

"It relies on too many unrealistic savings, it contains enormous cuts to higher education, and it would violate existing state contracts with our employees, resulting in costly legal battles for years to come", said Malloy, "if the responsible solution I negotiated with Democrats isn't going to pass, then it is incumbent on the legislature to reach a new agreement soon - one that is realistic and, ideally, bipartisan".

Sen. Stephen T. Cassano, D-Manchester, said he felt Democrats addressed the trio's concerns, including eliminating the sales tax. "They are ready to stand up - and we are ready to work with them and our elected leadership - to fight for Democratic candidates and elected officials who will defend our state's values".

Hartford, which is facing a budget deficit approaching $50 million, said last week it could file for bankruptcy unless the state gave it assistance.

The Hartford Courant reports that Democrats in both the House and Senate broke party lines to support the Republican plan.

Doyle said after the vote that he wants the legislature to "move forward with a bipartisan budget".

Doyle called the vote "the most hard decision of my career", but said he felt that avoiding more $1.5 billion in tax increases was the right move for state residents, and he didn't care if it meant losing his Senate seat.

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No increase in income tax rates or in the base 6.35 percent sales tax rate. The plan is for the fiscal year that began July 1 and the year beginning next July 1.

"I believe the amended budget that passed in the Senate today is unbalanced, and if it were to reach my desk I would veto it".

Those new limits would reduce required pension payments by $119 million this fiscal year and by $151 million in 2018-19.

Eyewitness News reached out to the governor's office on Saturday.

Many Democratic leaders, the governor and union leaders have questioned whether the state can make these changes unilaterally or whether that would violate collective bargaining rules. But the Connecticut Hospital Association, which has previously opposed the tax, said it supports the increase.

Looney said the vote only "will prolong this contest which is so damaging".

Larson noted that should the House adopt the package, and Malloy veto it, it would force the state to be run under the governor's executive order that brings massive municipal cuts.

Communities would pay only the "normal cost", an actuarial term referring to the full amount that must be set aside annually to cover the future pensions of present-day teachers.

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