Lawmakers are headed back to the state Capitol today, but it won’t be to pass a budget.
However, the posturing on the budget continued Thursday as lawmakers prepared to return for a one-day session.
Sen. President Donald Williams and Speaker of the House Chris Donovan said the Democratic majority has found another $1.1 billion in spending cuts. They also said they will restore the $500 property tax credit for families making $100,000 a year and will not increase business sales taxes.
“The people of Connecticut deserve to know exactly what tax increases the legislative Democrats are proposing – after all, they will be paying for them,” Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Thursday.
“In recent weeks the Democrats have spoken loudly and repeatedly about spending cuts they will not make – but they have refused to divulge any details about the variety of taxes they would raise or the programs and services they would eliminate. Passing a budget should not be a game of hide and seek with the public,” Rell said.
Donovan has said the Democratic majority will pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year with or without an agreement with Rell.
“We have worked hard to identify fair and responsible cuts that will allow us to protect the property tax credit and prevent the elimination of important sale tax exemptions,” Donovan said. “We are making real progress towards a responsible budget that protects the people of Connecticut.”
“They need to tell everyone what specific tax increases and what specific spending cuts they are proposing and they should allow for public comment and input on those plans,” Rell said. “The people of Connecticut and the full legislature have the right to know what will be asked of them. There are twelve days remaining in this fiscal year and it is long past time for the legislature to do its job: After full public debate, pass a budget that is affordable, responsible and positions our state for economic recovery.”
Democratic lawmakers have not disclosed how their income tax proposal has changed since it was introduced in April when it increased the tax on couples making more than $250,000 a year. Donovan said on Tuesday that the Democratic proposal still included an increase in the income tax for wealthier residents, but did not answer questions about where it started and how much the state anticipated raising by increasing it.
“We believe additional spending cuts, along with a mix of borrowing and revenue increases, is the fairest and most responsible way to balance the budget,” Williams said. “Now is the time for everyone to put partisan differences aside, and sit down at the negotiating table with a spirit of cooperation.”
The two sides have not been at the negotiating table since late May.