Connecticut Lawmakers Claim To Have A Budget, But It Remains Under Wraps

Oct 19, 2017
Originally published on October 18, 2017 8:34 pm

Legislators in Hartford say they have come to a tentative bipartisan agreement on a new two-year budget. 

"It is our genuine intention to straighten out the last little bit of details over the next few days, to pass a budget that will move the state of Connecticut forward, that will garner the governor’s signature," said House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, announcing the progress.

The lawmakers released few details of the proposal, but said all of the major stumbling blocks between the parties have been agreed on and only minor issues remain.

The cost of teachers’ pensions will not be shifted to municipalities under the plan. Savings that Republicans had hoped to make by reforming state pensions are also absent.

Hartford representatives say there’s sufficient aid for the struggling capital city in the document.

Republican House Minority Leader Themis Klarides told reporters that her party has a say in the outcome.

"You’ve heard us talk about the spending cap, the bonding cap -- you know how strongly we felt about the teachers’ retirement burden being put on towns and cities, and that was a line in the sand for a lot of us," she said. "There were positive outcomes in regards to this."

The budget will be shared with Governor Dannel Malloy, and final tweaks will be made over the weekend.

The governor, who has not been part of the negotiations, expressed skepticism about the deal.

"If I had ever come out and told you, I have a budget in my head, but I’m still arguing with myself, therefore I can’t tell you the details of it -- but believe me, I have it -- you wouldn’t believe me," he said at a news conference after the announcement.

The speaker said he’s hoping to schedule a vote on the budget next week, but he made no promises about a final timetable.

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