This coming Wednesday marks the official end of the legislative session, however, lawmakers conceded Saturday that they may need some more time to reach a budget compromise.
With budget negotiations stalled, the Democratic majority in the General Assembly approved a resolution which calls it back into a special session June 4.
Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell reacted to the measure by saying the legislature has simply given up by calling for a special session five days before the end of the regular session.
“Some may call this a surrender and some may call it a failure of leadership,” Rell said in a statement Saturday. “It is both, but more importantly, I believe it is a shameful abdication of Constitutional responsibilities.”
“After nearly five months, the Democrats have done nothing to address Connecticut’s fiscal crisis, nothing to help create jobs or help working families through these difficult economic times and nothing to address unemployment,” Rell said.
Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, shot back saying that “Democrats in the legislature are working night and day to protect the very same people the Governor is willing to sacrifice in order to protect the wealthy.”
“We just learned on Thursday that the Governor wants to close technical schools in Stamford and Bristol, six courthouses in Manchester, Derby, Meriden, Putnam, Norwalk and Bristol, a DMV office in New Britain, eliminate funding for libraries, for people with disabilities, for young people who want to go to college, and cut funding for job training,” Donovan said. “We won’t do that.”
Democrats proposed a budget which includes $3.3 billion in tax increases. The package includes a progressive income tax for families making more than $250,000 a year. Rell has said she doesn’t support tax increases, but she also hasn’t ruled them out. She has said she’s unwilling to talk about taxes until the state pares back state spending as much as possible. Democrats believe everyone should share the burden of the state’s economic woes and say Rell’s budget simply takes away benefits from the poorest residents.
“In all my years of government, I have never seen a more disorganized group of lawmakers than these Democrat leaders,” Rell said. “The people of Connecticut expect the legislature to do its job. Our families and businesses deserve a balanced budget that will move Connecticut toward a position of economic strength
“Governor Rell’s attacks are unproductive,” Sen. President Donald Williams, said in a statement Saturday. “The unfortunate fact is that throughout the entire legislative session the governor failed to submit a balanced budget. Families and businesses across Connecticut want solutions, not angry rhetoric.”
“It is our hope that Governor Rell will finally enter the negotiating room, sit down at the table, and engage us in a constructive and responsible discussion that helps move Connecticut forward,” Williams said.