GOP Scores Budget Victory, Governor Vows Veto


The vote by the House came down around 2 a.m.

Doyle called the vote "the most hard decision of my career", but said he felt that avoiding more $1.5 billion in tax increases was the right move for state residents, and he didn't care if it meant losing his Senate seat.

The Republican version of the state budget proposal was passed by the House and the Senate, but the governor said he won't sign it when it gets to his desk.

Doyle said he was not swayed by Democratic House and Senate members arguments over the past week that a vote against the Democrat-sponsored plan was an endorsement of Gov. Dannel Malloy's executive order that mandates hundreds of millions in spending cuts to cities and towns on October 1.

The state hasn't had a budget in place for over two months, and this was the latest effort to fix that problem. "I want to get this bill out of here without amendments so it goes right to the Governor's office".

Doyle said he made the decision Friday after reading budgets proposed by both sides.

The GOP plan relies on changes in state employee pensions after the current state union deal ends in 2027.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement that he would veto the Republican plan if it reached his desk.

Republicans were calling for the bill to be called for a vote and approved by the House of Representatives.

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Sen. Timothy Larson, D-East Hartford, said he was disappointed that the group didn't tell party leaders what to expect. "It's not a Democrat or Republican thing for me", House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said.

With no budget in place, Malloy is now controlling state spending under his limited executive authority.

The Democratic governor and the legislature have yet to approve a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, as well as the following fiscal year.

Democrats, who hold a one-vote majority over Republicans on the committee, voted 26-25 in favor of the revenue estimates over the objections of the minority party.

Duff said he doubts the three even read the 1,000-page Republican document prior to voting for it, and noted the proposal does not include financial assistance for homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations to the extent of the Democratic proposal. She said it would lead to the closure of UConn Health and the elimination of several majors, graduate programs, many Division 1 Athletics programs and global programs. The budget also would decrease the personal property tax exemption on state income tax forms, from $200 to $100, and set aside $115 million for improvements to the XL Center arena in Hartford.

The GOP proposal also requires that any grant program go through the Planning and Development Committee and the Housing Committee for approval.

He said Friday night if the Democrats' budget isn't going to be passed then lawmakers needs to reach a new agreement soon, "one that is realistic, and, ideally, bipartisan".

"The budget framework now being finalized by the General Assembly appears to be a balanced and responsible compromise", Malloy said in a statement. "We were ready to go forward", he said.