As Gov. Dannel Malloy marked a budget victory and continued rancor-free talks on labor givebacks, his mansion seemed a world, not 42 miles, away from City Hall.

Malloy invited the state’s news editors Wednesday morning to the governor’s 19-room residence on the bucolic far western fringe of Hartford for a chat about the $40.1 billion two-year state budget. The legislature passed the budget around midnight; Malloy signed it Wednesday afternoon. Officials claimed it was the earliest anyone remembered a budget passing, despite its controversial inclusion of $2.6 billion in tax hikes over two years.

Malloy also offered only a partial update on his talks with state employee unions, during which he’s seeking a whopping $2 billion in concessions. Those talks are headed to a best-scenario denouement—or else a fateful impasse—Friday. Malloy said in the meantime he would continue to honor a “blackout” on the state’s specific demands and labor’s response.

“I don’t think we’d still be having conversations if we hadn’t done that,” he said.

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