Capping several weeks of bipartisan negotiations, Republican and Democratic lawmakers passed a budget deficit mitigation package, which earned widespread support from both parties and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The package of budget adjustments closes the entire projected budget deficit of $252 million for FY 2012 left after the governor’s $123 million in agency rescissions, and represents the first budget-related measure to be passed by the legislature with no tax increases in quite some time.
“Our state government works best when all parties contribute to the final product,” Senate Minority Leader John McKinney said. “I’m pleased that we were able to come together in a bipartisan way to balance the FY 2013 budget without additional tax increases. I am hopeful that we can repeat this process and outcome when we tackle the deficits our state faces over the next two years.”
“The special session proved that when Republicans and Democrats work together we can make serious progress in addressing our fiscal crisis,” state Rep. Brenda Kupchick said. “While many of the cuts were difficult to agree to, others were what we had asked for during the last session. We were able to close the budget deficit without raising additional taxes on residents and it is my hope that the bi-partisan sentiment continues through the new legislative session so we can continue to improve our economy.”
“This bipartisan process was critical not only in finding important areas of compromise, but also in setting the tone for the upcoming session,” state Rep. Tony Hwang said. “We managed to arrive at a package that preserves aid to municipalities sparing residents local property tax increases, and beginning to phase out the concept of longevity pay for state employees.”
All three legislators noted that the coming session of the legislature, which convenes Jan. 9, will face significant challenges with the biennial budget going forward.
The package passed both the House of Representatives and Senate, and will now move to the governor for his signature.