One of the General Assembly’s two-budget writing committees will vote Monday on their response to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s spending plan.
The Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee will release their budget Monday morning and the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee is expected to match their spending with a tax proposal later this week.
“Every budget document reflects a policy perspective,” House Speaker Brendan Sharkey said last week.
He said the spending package that will be released Monday morning will look “very different,” than the two-year, $40 billion budget put forward by Malloy in February.
Democratic lawmakers have been talking for weeks about how to add back about $300 to $400 million of the social service cuts Malloy made. Regardless of the money the committee puts back into the budget, lawmakers recognize that most social services will still be cut as a result of the state’s fiscal situation and the constitutional spending cap.
Malloy’s budget was two weeks late and $54 million over the spending cap in the first year, which made solving this year’s budget puzzle more difficult for top lawmakers.
On Friday, Republican lawmakers released their own alternative budget proposal. Instead of panning it as a partisan document, Democratic lawmakers welcomed some of the ideas it included.
Sharkey said there will be concepts, ideas, and initiatives in both the spending and tax package that have been offered by the Republicans during the committee process.
“I think the process we’ve gone through already has been very bipartisan,” Sharkey said. “I think there’s a lot more common ground.”
But the final budget will be negotiated by the governor and Democratic lawmakers behind closed doors.
The Republican alternative budget relied heavily on labor concessions in order to restore some of the governor’s proposed cuts to social services. Because they are in the minority Republicans won’t be in the room when the final budget is negotiated.