HARTFORD--The legislative session has ended, but we are still without a budget.
Democratic legislative leaders hoped to vote Wednesday, the final day of the legislative session, on an 11th-hour budget deal they reached Tuesday night with Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy. However, they scrapped those plans after it become clear they wouldn’t have enough time to review, debate and pass that bill and related legislation.
Now, a special session will have to be held to come to a final decision on the budget, among other measures there wasn't enough time to vote on.
The Office of Legislative Management tells FOX 61 that the session will cost taxpayers at least an additional $11,000. Here's what the financial administrator for the state OLM had to say:
We estimate the cost for a special session day to be approximately $11,000. To clarify, this is the cost for a day when the House and Senate are actually in session and voting. Obviously, a special session can last longer than one day. The costs, however, are typically just for the one final day when they vote. The $11,000 is for legislator mileage allowance, printing costs, House and Senate Chamber staff costs and overtime costs.
Malloy says he’s fine with Connecticut lawmakers waiting until a special legislative session starting May 12 to vote on a budget plan that addresses next fiscal year’s projected $960 million deficit, as long as it does not encourage lawmakers to try and change the budget plan.
"We are not going to raise taxes, we are not going to assume expenditures from the rainy day fund, and we're not going to permit gimmicks to be used in the budget. I think the budget that's put together is the right budget."
The resolution to delay the budget vote until a special session passed the Senate unanimously and the House of Representatives 138-9 on Wednesday. Republican House Minority Leader Themis Klarides said she supported the resolution with a “heavy heart.” While she welcomed more time to review the budget deal, she says the legislature should complete its work on time.