As was the case last year, the Connecticut Legislature’s Appropriations Committee will not recommend a new budget before today’s deadline. Instead, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have agreed to continue budget negotiations beyond this week, allowing more time for a vote on a complete fiscal year 2019 budget bill.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin; House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby; Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven; and Senate Republican leader Len Fasano of North Haven announced the development in a joint statement.
“Last year, Democrats and Republicans worked together to adopt a truly bipartisan budget,” the statement said. “As the leaders of our respective caucuses, we are committed to continuing that bipartisan approach. All four caucuses have agreed to continue bipartisan work on the state budget beyond the scheduled JF Appropriations Committee deadline.
“All four caucuses have been continuously working on budget proposals and we are all in agreement to continue our efforts to work toward a bipartisan solution,” the statement continued.
“Therefore, for procedural reasons, each caucus has agreed to support placeholder budget bills which will be voted out of the Finance Committee (on April 5).
“These bills, Senate Bill 533 and House Bill 5588, will then be referred out of the Senate and House to the Appropriations Committee by April 20, 2018 for a budget vote. This will give the Appropriations Committee needed time to hold a vote on a complete fiscal year 2019 budget.”
The preliminary $20.66 billion budget for fiscal 2018-19 that was adopted in special session last October includes a General Fund that is reportedly up to $260 million out of balance. For the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, the state faces a budget deficit of about $200 million.