Legislative Democrats say they won't have a budget ready for a vote this week, making it more likely Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy will have to temporarily run state government using his executive authority.
Speaking at the state capitol, Malloy said the only thing legislators can agree on right now is disagreement.
“We’re not going to have a full-year budget between now and July 1,” Malloy said. “It’s just not going to happen. I understand everyone says they want it to happen, but they’re the same people who have failed to do that since the first week of February.”
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz had said last week his rank-and-file members preferred voting Thursday on a new two-year budget before the fiscal year ends Friday. But a House Democratic spokesman said on Tuesday that they've been unable to reach an agreement, despite last-ditch efforts.
There also doesn’t appear to be enough support for a legislative "continuing resolution" to keep government operating, or the quarterly "mini-budgets" Malloy had unveiled Monday, which temper municipal aid reductions and restore funding for certain programs.
Aresimowicz said a so-called “mini budget” would send the signal that everything is OK with the state’s finances. But it isn’t.
“Is that what’s beneficial for the state of Connecticut?” he said. “Is it putting another Band Aid on a situation that requires us to do a surgery?”
The situation prompted a heated response yesterday from Republican Senate President Len Fasano. He said his caucus has produced a budget plan that's ready to be voted on, and could be modified down the road.
“But if we do nothing – we saw the executive order that the governor is going to do,” Fasano said. “And when the people call, and say, ‘What do you mean, we’re not getting education dollars? What do you mean, our social services have been cut?’ Those problems are at the doorsteps of the Democrats.”
Connecticut is set to enter the new fiscal year with a projected general fund deficit of more than $2.1 billion.
The Democrats control the House, while they split the Senate with Republicans. Legislative Republicans want the General Assembly to pass their budget proposals, which Malloy has said he wouldn’t sign.
Diane Orson contributed to this report, which includes information from The Associated Press.