‘Progress’ in bud­get talks

Law­mak­ers say they’ll con­tinue to work over week­end

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ken Dixon

HART­FORD — Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic lead­ers met through out the day Fri­day, inch­ing closer to what could be the end of the long­est bud­get stale­mate in state his­tory.

Talks fi­nally broke off around 3:30 p.m., af­ter Speaker of the House Joe Ares­i­mow­icz, D-Ber­lin, had to re­sume his day job as football coach at nearby Ber­lin High School.

“It was a very good meet­ing,” House Mi­nor­ity Leader Themis Klar­ides, R-Derby, told re­porters.

The law­mak­ers did not meet with Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy, but sat in the House Democrats’ cau­cus room on the Capi­tol’s sec­ond floor for most of the day, re­view­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences in the two par­ties’ tax-and-spend plans for the fis­cal year that be­gan July 1.

At about 3:45, a joint state­ment was is­sued by Se­nate Demo­cratic Pres­i­dent Martin M. Looney,

D-New Haven, Ares­i­mow­icz, Se­nate Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Len Fasano, RNorth Haven, and Klar­ides.

“To­day was a pos­i­tive meet­ing with very se­ri­ous ne­go­ti­a­tions and pro­duc­tive dis­cus­sion,” they said. “We are mak­ing progress and plan to con­tinue ef­forts to work to­gether. Staff work and dis­cus­sions will con­tinue over the week­end.”

Kelly Don­nelly, a spokesper­son for the gov­er­nor, also is­sued a state­ment.

“Time is of the essence, and a com­pro­mise must be reached in the very near fu­ture,” Don­nelly said. “Should a bal­anced agree­ment not be reached, surely, it is the peo­ple of our state who will suf­fer the most. And to be clear, adopt­ing a sta­tus quo bud­get — one that falls short of de­liv­er­ing real struc­tural re­form or one that is rid­dled with gim­micks and wish­ful think­ing — would be as equally dam­ag­ing.”

Jes­sica Hill / As­so­ci­ated Press

Speaker of the House Joe Ares­i­mow­icz, right, in a file photo.

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