Fourth Temporary Budget OKd in Connecticut; New Talks Begin
A new round of talks began Friday to break a 40-day-old budget impasse after Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. signed Connecticut’s fourth temporary budget of the fiscal year.
Connecticut’s House and Senate passed the stopgap budget late Thursday after legislative leaders concluded that they could not muster enough votes to override Weicker’s third veto of a budget that did not authorize the income tax he wants.
Weicker, whose scornful veto message Wednesday angered many lawmakers, took a more diplomatic approach Friday, saying he is not interested in scoring a political triumph at the expense of lawmakers.
“The losers right now are the people of this state,” he said. “Having said that, nobody’s trying to win. I can guarantee you I’m not.”
The measure authorizes state spending for two weeks ending Aug. 18.
Weicker said that lawmakers opposed to the income tax will have to compromise to break the deadlock.
“Sometimes people tend to get their feet a little deeper in the concrete than common sense will tell them to do,” he said.
The governor’s budget chief, William Cibes, said the Weicker Administration will work with legislative leaders to develop a new budget proposal.
Weicker said he is willing to consider a budget that does not call for a state income tax, but he repeated his belief that imposing the state’s first income tax is the best way to solve the state’s financial problems.
The tax is a major sticking point in a budget fight that shut down much of the state government from July 2 to July 7. Connecticut is one of 10 states without an income tax.