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Governor Malloy speaks out about why he’ll veto GOP-backed state budget plan 

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HARTFORD —   The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a $40.7 billion Republican-backed budget plan that the Senate approved and which Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has vowed to veto.

The House voted 78-72 to approve the plan early Saturday after beginning deliberations on Friday night. Six Democrats supported the plan.

The GOP plan relies on changes in state employee pensions after the current state union deal ends in 2027. Republicans say it achieves $270 million in savings. It was approved on a 21-15 vote by the Senate Friday afternoon with the backing of three Democrats.

Malloy supports a $41 billion proposal by Democrats. He says the Republican proposal “relies on too many unrealistic savings” and is “unbalanced.”

The Republican’s state budget proposal passed in the Senate Friday afternoon, after three Democrats switched sides.

There were two competing proposals being debated on the Senate floor Friday afternoon, one introduced by Democrats and another by Republicans. The Democratic proposal was initially expected to prevail over its Republican  counterpart.

Three moderate Democratic senators then announced they would not be voting for their party’s version of the state budget, which contributed to a shift in majority support over to the GOP. They say they were putting personal principles above their party.

The Democrats, who control the legislature, have their own proposal which includes a new 49-cent monthly surcharge on cellphones, a new vacation home tax, higher taxes for hospitals, a 25-cent charge per trip on ride-sharing services like Uber and a 45-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase.

The plan introduced by Democrats in the House failed to come up for a vote early Friday morning.

The state budget is two months late. The plan is for the fiscal year that began July 1 and the year beginning next July 1.

To learn more about the proposed Republican budget go here.

Malloy prepared this remarks for a news conference on Monday:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy delivered the following prepared remarks regarding the state budget during a news conference this afternoon at the State Capitol building in Hartford:

This year has offered many twists and turns.  Yet even in unpredictable times, I have attempted to keep certain ideas consistently at the forefront of our discussions when it comes to the budget.

I’ve said that we must provide more predictability and stability for the people and businesses of Connecticut, and that we can do it by achieving genuine structural reforms that make our long-term obligations more affordable now, and in the future.

I’ve said that our budget should focus first and foremost on those most in need – whether we’re talking about how we fund municipalities, or how we maintain core services to state residents.

And I’ve said that our budget discussions should not be driven by new revenues, but that we should instead do our best to live within the revenues available to us

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.  They must be part of any budget that I sign into law.

Quite simply, maintaining the status quo will not do.  Collectively, we need to muster the fortitude to take bold action, to demonstrate a willingness to make hard choices, and to have the courage to compromise.

These are not partisan traits.  These are the shared expectations that our citizens hold for all elected officials.

To that end, my office has reached out to each of the Democrat and Republican leaders to set up meetings as soon as possible.  I ask that each comes ready to have frank, constructive discussions and share their ideas on how best to move forward.

As that process proceeds, my office is conducting a comprehensive review of the republican budget.

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.

And, if this is to be the budget that the Republican leaders will work off of going forward, then it’s important that we shed light on their ideas.

A preliminary examination of their budget has already raised significant concerns with respect to several provisions.

Specifically, I believe it includes irresponsible changes to pensions. It does not fully fund the actuarial pension contribution – something I will never do.

It does not send adequate aid to Hartford – making its fiscal situation all the more precarious.

It offers no progress on fixing the legal defects regarding the current status of the ECS grant.  In fact, distribution in all municipal aid raises questions about fairness.

There are excessively deep cuts to higher education.  In particular, UConn appears to be cut by hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two years, devastating our flagship university, which just achieved its highest national ranking ever because of our continued investments.

The Republican budget would hamstring our efforts in the coming decades to maintain and improve our transportation infrastructure.  This will simply slow down our economy at a time we cannot afford to do so.

These are just a few of the proposals that give us pause.  And as I receive the results of a much more thorough analysis, we will endeavor to share that information with the public.

With all of that said, I want to be very clear.  My administration will continue to be focused on arriving at a budget that is balanced and that will put the state on the right path.

That means that an eventual budget can and likely should include Republican ideas, even ones that I don’t like.  And, if we want a bipartisan solution, Republicans will need to adopt some of the ideas from myself and other Democrats.

That’s how compromise works. That’s how negotiations work, and I am eager to get that work under way.