Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked lawmakers in February to avoid passing a state budget on the last day of the legislative session like they did in 2015.
“Let’s not pass a budget on the final day of this session this year,” Malloy said. “Let’s get it done early. Let’s do it so that we can spend those final days working on other proposals — both yours and mine.”
But it looks like that’s what will happen.
With less than 48 hours before the close of the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers still don’t have a budget deal with the governor.
They are close to a deal, but as of 1 p.m. Tuesday no agreement has been made.
House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said they could immediately call themselves back into special session to pass a budget, but it would be best to get one done before midnight Wednesday.
The problem with holding a special session on the budget is that it would be the sole focus of the debate and would highlight the “depths of the spending cuts” which are “painful,” Aresimowicz said.
Aresimowicz said staff are preparing to run a budget Wednesday.
But if they don’t, they are prepared to return for a special session. There’s no specifics about when that special session might be held.
“I don’t think we should let a deadline of midnight tomorrow stop us from getting to a budget that people can agree on,” Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, said.
On Monday night, Democratic legislative leaders and Malloy were still more than $100 million apart, but Bye said they’ve closed that gap as of Tuesday morning.
Bye said it would be best to get the budget done this week and to provide some certainty to everyone who depends on state funding, which in all likelihood will be cut.
“There are people who won’t get the services they would have gotten a year ago,” Bye said.
Democratic legislative leaders and Malloy’s staff worked until 2:30 a.m. to reach a compromise and started those discussions again when they returned to the state Capitol Tuesday afternoon.