CT Still Without a Budget

Democratic Majority sends Republican Budget to Governor

What’s next?

Links to Live By

CRMA Annual Awards Luncheon to Feature Two Key Legislators

  • By now many of you may have heard the news that CT STILL DOES NOT HAVE A STATE BUDGET.
  • Last Friday, the General Assembly convened for a special session expecting to finally adopt a budget that would fund the State for the fiscal year 2018 – 2020.
  • CT was one of only two States that had not adopted a budget, but as members streamed into the Capitol complex there was a high amount of anticipation that Democratic leaders had rounded up enough votes for passage.
  • But, as the day moved along it became clear that maybe something was not right.
  • Little did we know how things would really turn out?

Democratic Majority sends Republican budget to Democratic Governor

  • Since the last election cycle where Republicans earned a tie in the State Senate – 18- 18 and picked up seats in the House to close the gap to 79 – 72, we wondered how the legislature would function, but more importantly, how would they handle the real big issues, like passing a State Budget.
  • During the regular session, they basically punted on all the big issues, like legalizing marijuana, imposing tolls, and passing a state budget.
  • But, by not passing a budget by the end of the fiscal year of July 1st, they placed themselves in the situation where they would have to make some really hard votes. And there remained questions as to if the Democratic Majority would be able to hold all of their votes in the House and the Senate.
  • The first signs of the difficulty of getting consensus was the renegotiated State Employees contract, commonly known as the SBAC agreement, the Governor and the State Employees agreed to. That passed, but by the slimmest margins.
  • By the time leaders finally agreed to a budget to present to their respective caucuses on Friday, Democrats had dropped their idea of an increase in the sales tax (CRMA was very vocal in opposition) thinking that would be enough to get most members on board.
  • When the details of the compromised budget that Democratic leadership and the Governor agreed to started to leak out, it was clear that although there was no increase in the sales tax, there were plenty of other “revenue enhancements” that made more than a few members upset. And with the close numbers in the House and in the Senate, Democratic leaders could not afford any defections.
  • The State Senate took up the budget first.
  • Senate Republicans, offered an amendment to the Democratic budget bill by offering their budget and most capitol observers expected it to fail.
  • But thanks to three moderate Democrats, Sen. Paul Doyle (D- Wethersfield) Sen. Gayle Slosberg (D-Milford) and Sen. Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury), it passed, much to the shock of the Democratic leaders and to most capitol observers.
  • The 3 Democratic defections along with the 18 Republicans gave the bill plenty of support sending it to the House.
  • House leadership was then faced with the choice of not taking the bill up at all or trying to amend it with the Democratic budget and send it back to the Senate for another vote.
  • They decided to put the Republican budget up for a vote and this time some House Democrats joined with Republicans to pass it.
  • The bill now goes to the Governor who will veto it and will again leave CT without a budget.  It places CT now with the distinction of the only State in the Union without a budget.

What’s next?

  • After about a seven day, let’s call it a cooling off period, budget negotiations between Democratic and Republican Legislative Leaders and Governor are expected to resume today.
  • The next key date to keep in mind is Oct 1st, that is when the Governor’s executive order that the State has been operating under expires.
  • Most observers are not optimistic that a deal will be in place by then but we will be keeping a close eye on things and will keep you posted.

Links to Live By

  • Some great reporting has been done about the whole budget drama and the after effects.
  • Take look back a week before the vote as CT Mirror reports that a deal was in place. Read More Here

CRMA Awards Luncheon to Feature Key Legislators Discussing Budget

  • Join us on Wednesday, October 4 for the Annual Awards Luncheon at the Bushnell in Hartford.  We will be presenting our Retailer of the Year and additional awards to some of the state’s leading retailers.  It is retail’s big day… please join us!
  • If you’d like to purchase an ad to support CRMA and the work we do for Connecticut retailers in the program book, today is the deadline.  Contact Cathy at cathy@crmaonline.com or 860.527.1044.
  • Space is filling up quickly, so please make reservations for you and your retail team.  Use our on-line form to reserve your ticket, or contact Cathy directly.
  • Prior to the luncheon, beginning at 10:00 AM, we will have a special panel of key legislators from both sides of the aisle to talk about the latest in the ongoing budget crisis, and what it means for Connecticut’s retail businesses.  We will be joined by Rep. Jason Rojas, the House Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, and key colleagues.  Hear the latest, and ask your questions!