Malloy, Democrats Reach Budget Agreement

Democrats said Wednesday that the agreement would be the quickest budget ever adopted by the state of Connecticut.

Democrats and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday evening that they had reached agreement on a "fair, responsible" budget for the state of Connecticut for the next two fiscal years. The state officials hailed the deal as a historic agreement that would be the earliest budget ever adopted by the state.

The announcement, which came at a press conference at the state Capitol building in Hartford around 5 p.m., is significant because Democrats control a majority in both the Connecticut House of Representatives and the Senate, providing the votes needed to pass any agreement should rank and file members of the caucus vote in support of the proposal.

Malloy, House Speaker Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, and a number of Democratic legislators attended the press conference.

“This budget builds upon Governor Malloy’s framework and is a balanced solution to the deficit – spending reductions, government efficiencies, taxes and concessions,” Donovan said in a YouTube video of the press conference. “…The budget is a result of many people willing to work hard, willing to work together, and willing to listen to reasonable ideas for the best solution for Connecticut.”

Although the exact specifics of the proposal were not available Wednesday evening, Democrats highlighted several areas where the agreement differed from the budget Malloy proposed in mid-February, chief among them that the income tax rate on the state’s highest earners would rise under the proposal.

Other aspects of the proposal that Democrats highlighted were its preservation of a proposed for the state’s working poor, and the restoration of several tax exemptions that had been eliminated under Malloy’s initial proposal, including one that eliminated the state’s auto trade-in exemption, and others that taxed previously untaxed items such as hair cuts, beauty services, car washes and boat repairs. Malloy announced last week that he planned to that his initial proposal excised.

“It asks more of our wealthier residents, who can afford it,” Donovan said of the agreement. “It softens the tax burden on the middle class, while maintaining funding for schools, cities and towns, and protects our most vulnerable citizens.”

The announcement came a day after Republicans announced their own “no-tax increase” alternative to Malloy’s proposal, which included more than $1.5 billion in additional spending cuts, the elimination of longevity payments for state employees, a reduction of five percent of the state of Connecticut's workforce, and the preservation of current levels of municipal aid for towns and schools.

"Our budget does not create any new taxes in any way shape or form," House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero, R-Norwalk, said in a YouTube video after the Republicans unveiled their budget proposal in Hartford Tuesday. "Because the people who are paying for the cost of government cannot afford it any longer." 

plugged an estimated $3.5 billion budget deficit facing the state in the coming fiscal year, restored $270 million over each of the next two years to the Education Cost Sharing grant, the state’s largest means of support to local schools, to compensate for the anticipated loss of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and sought $1 billion in concessions each year from contracted unionized state employees.

All those aspects remain in the agreement reached Wednesday, Democrats said, although Malloy and state unions have yet to agree on any concessions.

“It’s basically an agreement on the budget, because these are the three entities that control state government,” State Rep. Geoff Luxenberg, D-Manchester, said of the agreement reached Wednesday between Malloy and House and Senate Democrats. “I think it’s great to see the legislature and the governor come together and listen to peoples concerns to come up with a budget in a timely fashion. I think this is what the people want, they elected us to fix the deficit and get results.”

The General Assembly must vote on the proposal before it goes into effect.  

Correction: An earlier version of this story made reference to congregational Democrats. There are no congregational Democrats (well, there probably are somewhere). Sorry. 

Catherine & Dennis April 14, 2012 at 02:46 PM
oh but they are....trying to. Read about Dollar Tree Distribution. You have to read not only the threads on the subject but the application ---they claim 200 jobs most of the time but the application hints at less. These are jobs that for the most part pay the employees very, very low salary without much chance at all for moving up within the company. And better yet? This Fortune 500 company will take a forgivable loan in the amount of millions from the State and a $2.8 million abatement from Windsor. We should be sure those at the top make the dough! It blows my mind the State would give a Fortune 500 company any money to come here when they are not bringing jobs that pay anything
meowkats4 April 15, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Here we are 1 year later when this was posted on the Manchester Patch!!! Just how is Connecticut doing today? As an underemployed tax payer, I am still finding it very hard to get ahead, I just live pay-check to pay-check each week. I do thank god I have a job, so that I can keep my home and feed myself. Yet, my money this year 2012 is not stretching far enough for food and gas, my fear is my local and state taxes is slapping me right in the old wallet!! I need so many repairs done around the house that I just can't afford to get them replaced or fixed! My middle class status is heading down, down.
Catherine & Dennis May 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM
The business leaves, then they blackmail states for money to come in...wait out the abatement time then move on to another state or town to blackmail again. Anyone see a pattern here? Stop abatements!
Catherine & Dennis May 10, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Malvi -I agree 100% Anger + knowledge + a firm commitment to self and neighbor =Power. This is exactly what folks involved with the Dollar Tree fight have learned and boy do we have commitment!!!!! Things have got to change and it doesnt get changed by the politicians or committee members. They need to know people have finally reached their limit, and they aren't going to take it any more. To be insulted with committees and Town Employees who work for applicants, roll their eyes at the people when they speak their concerns, make comments such as "do we have to listen to this" ---these people and their attitudes must go. Somewhere along the way regardless of the position held came this attitude that they do not serve all of the people. They are anything but impartial. Back door meetings, hallway meetings, that are obvious to all. There are quite a few in our area that have not been squashed here regardless of the unashamed back slapping....we are fired up. Oh yea, there is committment.
Catherine & Dennis May 10, 2012 at 03:34 AM
So we come up with a great idea of the First Five -one in contention is Dollar Tree. Slated to receive millions in forgivable loans from the taxpayers. They are a Fortune 500 company that pays miserable wages (see the class action suits filed by employees to get their pay) with no chance of advancement. The jobs do nothing to teach valuable skills so employees could advance and with the wage they do make wouldnt pay back to the tax base. All while we are billions in debt -cutting essential programs. So the Fortune 500 company takes the money from us, claims the building they will build went down in value, stays long enough to satisfy the agreement for the loan then moves on to the next state to blackmale them for more money. Why not give the breaks to the small business -one that will grow? How about the taxpayers getting a break? How about State Employees no longer get health care forever when the rest of us that are lucky enough to still have a job cannot retire because we cannot afford health care? How about some common sense for a change?


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