Less than two days ago Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the legislature’s Democratic majority were pointing fingers and trading tersely worded letters back and forth.
Today after meeting for an hour the air seems to have been cleared.
Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said there seemed to be a “renewed spirit of working together.” Rell’s spokesman Chris Cooper said the governor was pleased with the meeting.
Cooper said lawmakers agreed to act quickly on the union concessions once the package is ratified by the 31 bargaining units.
In addition, the governor agreed to put more spending cuts on the table and asked Democratic lawmakers to come up with proposals to shrink the size of state government, Cooper said.
Donovan said the group agreed to move quickly on a concession package, but that nothing concrete came out of Wednesday’s meeting.
“It was productive in terms of attitude,” Donovan said.
Sen. Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Southport, said the meeting was “positive.”
He said the leadership seemed to reach an agreement on the basic principles and process by which to move forward in the budget process.
“We agreed there’s an urgency to move the process forward at a greater pace to meet the June 3 deadline,” he said.
He said there was also agreement to get the union concession package passed as quickly as possible because the sooner the early retirement packages can be processed the quicker the legislature will be able to close the budget deficit.