Budget vote delayed; GOP doesn’t expect to vote Friday

HARTFORD — GOP leaders said there would be no vote on the state budget either Thursday or Friday.

House Democratic officials say the vote is postponed. Budget documents will be available in the morning and they will try to reschedule the vote.

The Senate announced that it will convene Friday, at Noon.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate had continued private negotiations into the 10 p.m. hour at the State Capitol over the fate of a proposed two year spending bill worth around $40 billion.

“This afternoon it will be our intention to come in and run it in the house and send it up to the Senate to await further action,” said State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, Democratic Speaker of the House during an evening press conference.

The budget has undergone several changes over the past 24-48 hours. In the latest version of budget details from Thursday afternoon, a cell phone surcharge of 49 cents per line on every cellular line in the state, a slight increase in hospital taxes, a 25 cent fee on ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and a tax levied on vacation homes in the state.

“In the end there is nothing in this budget that is as good as someone might have hoped in an ideal situation but nothing is as bad as people would have feared in a worst case situation,” said State Senator Martin Looney, Senate President Pro Tempore.

Higher sales taxes, higher restaurant taxes, and the conveyance tax have been dropped from the budget proposal as of Thursday evening.

Republicans were furious over the way Democrats and the Governor have handled the negotiating and voting procedures.

"If you're asking me if any of my members will be voting for the Democrats budget the answer is no. And the fact that the Speaker says that with pride, it saddens me," said State Rep. Themis Klarides, House Minority Leader.

As of 10 p.m. Thursday no vote has taken place in the House or Senate and no official, revised, budget documents have been released to the press.