Governor Dannel Malloy said his administration is continuing its talks with state labor unions to fill a $2 billion hole in the proposed budget. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.
Malloy sounded familiar themes at his press conference. He said he'd be prepared to make deep cuts to state government if he has to. "I said it on February 16th: Adopt this budget and blame me. If it falls upon me to institute those reductions that might otherwise, and I hope are not necessary, then I'm prepared to do that. That's the job that I was elected to do." The governor said that both state and union negotiators were gearing up for more talks following the holiday weekend. He also said that should those talks fail, and the state is forced to make cuts to close the budgetary hole, he'd be willing to work cooperatively with the state legislature. "If the legislature wants to do it in some other way or wants the right to disagree with cuts that we would otherwise make, I think there's more than enough ways to resolve that issue." And asked whether the tax package that passed out of legislative committees last week would stand, Malloy said this: "It ain't over 'till it's over, but it's pretty over." The governor struck a deal with Democratic lawmakers on a compromise tax and spending plan last week. But while that plan called for $2 billion in savings from union concessions, it gave no specifics about where they'd come from. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.