Mal­loy on look­out for ‘gim­micks’

Gover­nor ‘en­cour­aged’ by on­go­ing dis­cus­sions

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

Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy said he is ea­ger to re­view a bud­get com­pro­mise from leg­isla­tive Democrats and Repub­li­cans, but warned Wednesday that he’ll be on the look­out for gim­micks be­fore any­thing comes to a vote in the Gen­eral Assem­bly.

Speak­ing with re­porters for the first time in nearly a week, the gover­nor said he was en­cour­aged by the re­ported progress in the closed-door dis­cus­sions be­tween GOP and Demo­cratic lead­ers, who met through­out the day on Wednesday and into the evening.

At about 7:40 p.m., the lead­ers emerged from their talks to say the ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tinue am­i­ca­bly, but in­con­clu­sively.

“I think that’s a good thing,” Mal­loy said. “I’m en­cour­aged that if there is an agree­ment be­tween the lead­ers that it will come back and we’ll have some fur­ther dis­cus­sions. I will say that what­ever is con­tained in that doc­u­ment has to be free of gim­micks and games and pen­sion steals and the like. And I would ex­pect that, since we’ve made that known all along.”

Mal­loy said his staff is in the

fi­nal phases of writ­ing up a fifth bud­get since his ini­tial spend­ing plan of­fered to the Gen­eral Assem­bly in Fe­bru­ary.

He said he is not sure when he would un­veil it, but it in­cludes fewer taxes and more spend­ing cuts. He does not sup­port the use of a $2,500 an­nual teacher fee, which the re­cent GOP bud­get would have put into the Gen­eral Fund rather than the teach­ers’ re­tire­ment fund.

After a nar­row pas­sage of a GOP bud­get last month be­cause of a hand­ful of Demo­cratic votes, Mal­loy ve­toed the two-year, $40 bil­lion spend­ing plan, send­ing law­mak­ers back into ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Dur­ing a 10-minute evening news con­fer­ence, lead­ers of the House and Se­nate agreed that as long as they keep talk­ing, they’ll con­tinue to get closer to a deal.

“Any­thing you do is going to take time,” said Se­nate Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Len Fasano, R-North Haven. “In life, any­thing worth get­ting is worth in­vest­ing that time. I un­der­stand their is­sues (bet­ter) than ever be­fore,” he said of the Democrats. “I think that’s ex­traor­di­nar­ily help­ful.”

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