Last December, majority Democrats and minority Republicans in the General Assembly came together to pass a deficit mitigation plan that eased the state’s budget shortfall. Last week, the legislation that addressed post-Sandy Hook issues was hailed as a bipartisan effort (although there were many who voted against it). The political good will now come to screeching halt as lawmakers craft a new two-year budget.
Democrats generally don’t like parts of the Governor’s plan. Republicans don’t like any of it. It’s of further concern that they don’t like it for different reasons. Democrats don’t like the cuts to some services and Republicans decry the increased spending of the bill (nearly 10 percent). In essence, the two sides are heading in the different directions. It should be an interesting remaining two and a half months of the session. And that’s if there isn’t a special session needed to finish things.
State Sen. Rob Kane, the ranking Republican on the appropriations committee, says his caucus is worried the Democrats will raise taxes again. “They [Democrats] want to restore cuts to programs that benefit their constituencies. We just had the largest tax increase in state history [in Gov. Malloy’s first budget]. We would prefer to cut spending,” he said.