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Connecticut's legislative leaders said they're considering a possible special legislative session during the second week of December to address Connecticut's budget shortfall.

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Will state lawmakers have a budget deal in place to be thankful for on Thursday? Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will bring you updates from the state capitol where time ticks away for an agreement on how to fix the state budget. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A proposal by Democratic state legislators to suspend Connecticut’s public campaign financing system for the 2016 elections was criticized by election reform advocates this week. Republican legislative leaders, too, expressed their skepticism that it would make a difference during an appearance on WNPR.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State Republicans have long been asking to be "at the table" in budget negotiations. Now, with a massive deficit, they are finally getting what they wished for and they announced their proposed fixes. "We not only fix the problem we’re in now because that’s our statutory obligation, but we make structural changes so this state can sustain itself not for the next month, not the next six months, but for generations to come," said House minority leader Themis Klarides. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is offering a long list of spending items that lawmakers can cut to help balance the state budget.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has rolled out more support for his fresh look at the Connecticut state pensions system, but he’s still getting pushback from some of the state's constitutional officers.

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As state leaders meet to try to close a $370 million budget shortfall, advocates for transportation funding say they still believe a lockbox is essential to revamping the state’s infrastructure.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Connecticut Hospital Association launched a new digital campaign this week decrying Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed cuts to hospitals.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The budget talks now have a number. Legislative leaders and Governor Dannel Malloy have agreed -- roughly -- on the size of Connecticut budget hole. 

The Senate passed a bill at 3:12 a.m. ET Friday that would raise the debt ceiling and fund the government into 2017. This means that there would be no fiscal standoffs and threats of government shutdown for more than a year.

The measure is now on its way to the White House for President Obama's signature, NPR's Ailsa Chang reports for the Newscast unit:

"For months, there was real concern the looming Nov. 3 deadline to lift the debt ceiling was going to send Congress into crisis mode, right when it was picking a new speaker of the House.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In the middle of bipartisan negotiations with state lawmakers over a gap in the current year budget, Governor Dannel Malloy's administration unveiled a new series of measures aimed at making the state budget more sustainable in the long run. But the problem and the fix are so complicated that he called it "a little mind-bending" in a meeting with reporters.

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This week, legislative leaders met with Governor Dannel Malloy to talk about the state's budget deficit. This hour, we review those talks with a panel of Capitol reporters.

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State legislators and Governor Dannel Malloy said they still need to agree on the size of Connecticut's current budget deficit before bipartisan talks can produce a plan to balance the state's books. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After weeks of dismissing the idea of a special session, more bad budget news is pushing Governor Dannel Malloy in that direction. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss this and all the week's news, including an update on a plan by the state's Board of Regents that has professors fighting mad.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is calling the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly to meet him for talks on the state's budget crisis. 

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Connecticut is "The Land of Steady Habits," which is why our state budget remains in a state of permanent crisis. Recently, Governor Dan Malloy made emergency cuts to the budget and targeted hospital funding and social services. He was on Where We Live this week and defended his actions and drew more criticism from the hospital community.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has not ruled out making savings in labor costs to help balance the state’s budget. Speaking on WNPR’s Where We Live, the governor said his administration will look for realism in upcoming negotiations with state labor unions.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is less than a year into his second term in office and it doesn’t look like it will be any easier than the first term.

The budget remains in a state of permanent fiscal crisis, forcing a $100 million cut to the budget, just months into a new fiscal year. Those cuts, especially the ones hitting social services and hospitals, have been criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike, and there are calls from editorial boards for a special session to reinstate some of the funding and find new ways to plug budget holes. 

Updated 8:30 p.m. ET

The bill to fund the government through Dec. 11 has been signed into law by President Obama. That beats the midnight deadline for keeping government agencies operating.

Earlier in the day, the Senate and the House passed the bill, which does not strip funding from Planned Parenthood.

Remember, some House Republicans had insisted on no payments to Planned Parenthood before they would vote to extend funding for the whole government.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reported on the bill's progress for our Newscast unit:

Uma Ramiah / WNPR

It turns out that state budget chief Ben Barnes was being dead serious when he said Connecticut was in "permanent fiscal crisis." Recent budget cuts have caused an uproar among hospitals, which get hit hard.

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The annual cost to operate Connecticut's bus-only system is rising as transit planners build out the route beyond its Hartford-to-New Britain corridor.

Devon Puglia / State of Connecticut

Gov. Dannel Malloy is on the offensive over CEO compensation at the state's hospitals, as criticism of his Medicaid cuts mounts.

Malloy spoke to reporters after a State Bond Commission meeting in Hartford on Tuesday. He was questioned about recent cuts he made of more than $63 million to state Medicaid reimbursement.

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Connecticut hospital executives are asking the General Assembly to intervene and prevent $63.4 million in new cuts to state Medicaid payments to their health care facilities.

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Governor Dannel Malloy has renewed his call for a constitutional lockbox to safeguard transportation funding as the state ramps up spending on infrastructure.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s new budget is just three months old, but the Malloy administration has just announced that it must make emergency spending cuts. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last week, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s office unveiled a plan to end a decades-old backlog of state pension audits. 

A new study challenges the prevailing notion that student debt is the primary reason young adults delay buying a home. The report was co-authored by Dartmouth Sociology Professor Jason Houle and University of Wisconsin Social Work Professor Lawrence Berger. It’s published by Third Way, which describes itself as a centrist think tank.

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Connecticut’s annual sales tax-free shopping week begins on Sunday, but some shoppers might need to plan their purchases carefully to qualify. Only clothing and footwear items under $100 are eligible for tax-free purchase this year; in previous years, items could be up to $300.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s a big year for local politics in Connecticut -- and not just Hartford and Bridgeport.

This hour, we check in on the race for mayor in New London.

As we do on most weeks, we catch you up on other stories from across the state, including how to fund the $100 billion transportation overhaul, MGM's desire to get in on the Connecticut casino expansion battle, and the future of juvenile detention facilities.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Ninety-five people will lose their jobs at the state Department of Labor as Connecticut officials attempt to save $16 million a year in costs.