Boucher, Lavielle comment on state budget proposal headed to governor


Republican leaders said they didn't know what to expect during the House vote.

Senate Democrats were blindsided Friday when three senators from their party crossed the aisle and voted in favor of the Senate Republicans' proposed budget.

CT lawmakers went home early Friday without approving a two-year, $41 billion budget that would have created new taxes and fees but wouldn't have included increases in the sales or income taxes.

It wasn't an outcome that will resolve the budget stalemate that's gone on for more than two months.

"I'm risking everything, but that's fine with me", he said.

Doyle said he made the decision Friday after reading budgets proposed by both sides.

The GOP plan relies heavily on changes in state employee pensions after the current state union deal ends in 2027.

Officials said the new budget plan includes a 49-cent monthly tax on the estimated 3 million cellphones in CT, a cigarette tax increase of 45 cents a pack and a decrease in the personal property tax exemption on state income tax forms, from $200 to $100. "It's why I began inviting all legislative leaders - Democrat and Republican - into my office past year, well before this session began".

Senate Democratic President Martin Looney of New Haven warned that passage of the Republican bill will add to the state's budget woes because Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has vowed to veto it. Hartford officials have said that city could be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

In the absence of a budget passed by the legislature, Malloy has been running the state's finances by executive order, something he has repeatedly said he did not want to continue doing.

"That's not good for the cities and towns that I represent that's for sure", Larson said, adding that there are no plans for the Senate to reconvene prior to October 1, when the cuts are scheduled to go into effect.

Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto released a statement after the budget vote.

Duff said he doubts the three even read the 1,000-page Republican document prior to voting for it, and noted the proposal does not include financial assistance for homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations to the extent of the Democratic proposal. The budget would eliminate part of the office, not the entire agency.

The GOP proposal also requires that any grant program go through the Planning and Development Committee and the Housing Committee for approval. It's going to continue the debate.

"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", Malloy said.

"What I think is clear, I think we are seeing the will of what appears to be a majority, a bipartisan majority of the legislature to take the state in a new direction that involves not constantly increasing taxes and spending", she said.

"But it isn't a shift for me". Aresimowicz said there was a delay in the writing of an implementer bill and it wouldn't be ready until Friday morning, but Republicans alleged there weren't enough votes to pass the proposal.