HARTFORD -- Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he's willing to compromise with Republicans on a bipartisan budget plan, but will veto the GOP-backed budget that passed the legislature over the weekend.
"In order to achieve a budget, I was willing to make some compromises in each of these areas. But I will not abandon these principles," said Malloy at a press conference on Monday. "They must be part of any budget that I sign into law."
Malloy, a Democrat, told reporters Monday that he is willing to accept a budget that includes Republican ideas he does not like, but that Republicans must be willing to adopt some ideas they don't like.
Malloy says his office is currently vetting the details of the Republican budget, but criticized it for underfunding pension obligations, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from higher education and not providing enough aid to municipalities such as Hartford.
"While I understand enough about the bill already to know that I will veto it, this is a document that was passed out of the General Assembly, and I owe it to the legislators who voted for it, and to the people of Connecticut, to give it a full vetting," said Malloy.
Malloy says any budget must provide structural fiscal reforms; prioritize helping those in need and should not be driven by additional taxes and other revenues.
Republicans feel the budget that passed through the House and Senate is adequate and called on Governor Malloy to sign off on it.
"Democrats have said that unless you support the budget you are endorsing the Governor's executive orders," said State Sen. Len Fasano, Senate Republican President Pro Tempore. "If this Governor then vetoes, I would say to the Democrats, if you don't override the veto, you are supporting these draconian cuts."
The CT Democratic House Speaker issued a statement earlier Monday afternoon:
“I’ve been saying along that with a disastrous scenario for our schools on the horizon, it is critical that we work together and compromise with the Governor and Republicans to reach a bipartisan agreement on a final budget in short order that can become law, and properly funds our public education system. Bipartisanship is what the voters called for last November, and that message rings truer and louder today. There is no more room or time for political posturing. The Republican budget is clearly not the answer, but there is momentum and the reality is that the parties are not that far apart. Time is of the essence, so let’s all finally put our D & R aside for the betterment of our state we all love.”
Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington)