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Lawmakers Reach Tentative Budget Deal

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle believe they have enough votes to pass a two-year budget package they negotiated without Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

"There will be a placeholder for later reform", Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said.

"We're counting on that to be true of all four caucuses, " Looney said, referring to Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. And UConn is cut by $65 million each year of the two-year budget. They said there could be a vote as early as Wednesday or possibly Thursday. A state-mandated cap will limit local vehicle tax rates to 39 mills, undwer the plan. "Compare that to Governor Malloy, who has delivered balanced budgets every year he's been in office by compromising with legislators, making the necessary hard choices, and raising the bar for honest budgeting practices". "And again, hope for a vote on Wednesday".

Malloy has said he won't pass judgement on the budget deal without seeing it, but has repeatedly expressed frustration that lawmakers have declared they have reached a deal without presenting the document to prove it.

"We have already briefed our caucus members on the tree tops of the budget, but we will get to the specifics [Wednesday]", said Sen.

Leaders discussed some of the budget's details Tuesday afternoon, but the document was not yet available because legislative staff were still writing the actual bill. Candelora said Malloy has made budget negotiations more hard. There's also an increase in the cigarette tax and a reduction in the earned income tax credit for the working poor.

A previous Republican-conceived budget that passed was vetoed by Malloy.

Lawmakers have been talking about generating 101 votes in the House of Representatives and 24 in the Senate in order to override a potential veto by Malloy.

Regarding the lack of paperwork, Duff said, "I think the media has done a really great job of reporting everything that is in the budget so far, so I don't think there's a whole lot of great surprises out there".

Following a closed-door Senate Democratic caucus Monday, Looney said that the caucus did not cause leaders to reverse any major issues that were agreed to in the framework. Malloy was skeptical that the legislative leaders had been able to close the state's projected $3.5 billion budget deficit without resorting to gimmicks.



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