WNPR

Democrats Fail To Bring State Budget To A Vote

Sep 15, 2017

Connecticut lawmakers went home late Thursday night after failing to approve a two-year, $41 billion state budget. The bill would have created new taxes and fees but would not have included increases in the sales or income tax. 

Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, a Democrat, said the Senate will convene again Friday at noon for a vote.

The budget is more than two months overdue and Democrats had high hopes they could resolve the impasse Thursday evening.

But, at 11:30 pm, after legislators spent the day waiting for debate to begin, it became clear that Democrats were not able to bring up the bill.

“Our latest report was that all the documents wouldn’t be ready until two or three o’clock in the morning,” Looney said. “The House then decided to not try to vote this evening given the length of the wait that would be required.”

Senate Republican leader Len Fasano of North Haven blamed the delay not on a lack of documents, but on a lack of votes.

“How do you come out with a multiple page budget, all these tax increases, keep it a secret from your membership, and expect that you are going to get everybody in line in a couple of hours?” Fasano asked.

And House Republican Leader Themis Klarides of Derby called it a waste of time for lawmakers.

“We spent the entire day here and nothing has happened,” she said.

At issue has been agreeing on how to close a $3.5 billion deficit in the state’s two-year budget.