No Budget Deal for Thursday
By Christine Stuart | June 27, 2017
HARTFORD, CT — (Updated 4:15 p.m.) Democrats in the legislature were unable to come up with a two-year budget deal to close a $5.1 billion budget deficit and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said he’s not interested in approving a temporary budget solution.
However, he’s not interested in signing onto Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s so-called mini-budget solution that would help fund government services for about 90 days until legislative leaders can reach a two-year budget deal.
Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, and Malloy tried to unsuccessfully convince Aresimowicz this temporary measure was much better than yielding to the governor’s executive authority to fund the minimum.
“I think putting forward a plan that allows the state to continue with a budget in place is preferable to not doing it,” Malloy said of the mini-budget his staff crafted over the weekend.
But Aresimowicz isn’t interested.
“I will not do an e-cert to do a mini-budget, to kick the can down the road,” Aresimowicz said outside the House chambers Tuesday. “And not take action on an overall state budget.”
Looney said “no one wants the governor to run the state by executive order.” He said he hopes Aresimowicz will reconsider his position.
Aresimowicz said he would if the parties were able to show they’d made substantial process on writing a two-year state budget proposal that could pass both chambers.
“I’m not going to artificially move the goal line,” Aresimowicz said.
At the same time, Aresimowicz said he would have trouble getting enough members to the state Capitol Thursday to vote on a mini-budget.
Malloy said doing nothing will make things worse.
Malloy presented the executive order he would use to operate the state Monday. The spending cuts are dramatic.
“We understand that the state’s budget situation is difficult. But there are solutions — such as moving expensive state-provided human services to the community nonprofit sector—that save hundreds of millions of dollars and protect services for our most vulnerable citizens,” Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the Community Nonprofit Alliance, said. “Yes, there are tough choices and change is hard. But the alternative is utter devastation of human services in Connecticut and it is hard to believe that would be acceptable to anyone.”