A BUDGET VOTE BEFORE TUESDAY? LEADERS READY TO MOVE AHEAD WITHOUT UNION CONCESSIONS IN PLACE

The state legislature is apparently going to vote on a new, 2-year budget next Monday or Tuesday. So says Gov. Dannel Malloy and state Senate President Don Williams. The quick vote on the budget could take place without the $2 billion in union concessions needed to make it balance.

CTNewsJunkie.com reported the “quick vote” news after comments made by Malloy at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Williams confirmed the strategy to reporters later. Williams says he needs to have the vote before lobbyists can start “picking off” senators to flip and vote against it. It demonstrates the very shallow nature of the support for the plan.

Republicans are still upset over a provision in the budget bill that would enable Malloy budget chief Ben Barnes to make any cuts he deems necessary, in any account, in any branch of government, up to $1 billion in each year of the budget.

Opponents of the budget also say passing it without the union concessions in place is unconstitutional. The state Constitution does in fact require the General Assembly to pass a “balanced” budget. However, “balanced” has become a term of art over the years. The legislature has many times in the past passed spending plans based on “assumed savings.”

The Shad knows firsthand that just because a vote is scheduled or expected doesn’t mean it will happen. Last minute snags also pop up to delay the vote. So don’t DVR CT-N just yet.