“Progress” & “Productive” used to describe latest bipartisan budget talks

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–  The eight highest ranking members of the General Assembly, the top leaders from both political parties spent the day around the same table hashing out possible compromises on spending cuts and revenue for most of the day.  They cancelled a midday meeting with Governor Malloy because they said that they were making progress but didn’t yet have anything to report. Some sources are saying that the leaders actually make more progress when the Governor is not in the room.

Also today, the state’s largest teachers union (the Connecticut Education Association) says it will file its injunction against the Governor’s Executive Order at Hartford Superior Court next week. Three communities; Torrington, Plainfield and Brooklyn have now joined the case claiming the Governor does not have the authority to distribute state funds to some cities while with holding it from others in the absence of a state budget.

Legislative leaders are ever mindful of next Friday’s deadline to to get a deal done.  The Governor has said that applying for a Medicaid waver to increase Medicaid payments to the state’s hospitals must be completed by the middle of the month. That would free up federal dollars so that the hospitals could pay some of it back to the state in  the form of a higher hospital tax.

Education funding is another big factor with many towns teetering on school system financial difficulty starting November 1st unless some funding comes from Hartford. Under the Executive Order many towns get zero.

When the meeting broke up late this afternoon, the leaders all agreed not to speak before cameras and microphones and issued a joint written statement saying “Today was a positive meeting with very serious negotiations and productive discussion. We are making progress and plan to  continue”

Discussions are scheduled to continue at the Capitol throughout the long holiday weekend.

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