Legislature punts:  http://ctmirror.org/2015/12/08/close-juvenile-jails-legislators-leave-it-up-to-the-governor/

Previously online here in multiple versions:  A sample of previous reports; Special Sessions, an example or two:  2012, 2014. 2015 implementer. 2015 notice of one-day session for do-over

R U L E S    F O R   C A L L I N G     A    S P E C I A L   S E S  S I O N

ALL OVER NOW:  http://ctmirror.org/2015/12/08/senate-passes-deficit-mitigation-bill-modest-business-tax-cuts/


CT SENATE 35-0 PASSES TRANSPORTATION LOCK BOX (r) but House does not follow with 3/4 vote or super majority necessary for vote in November 2016 on Constitutional change.  Budget passes House heads to Governor - the vote was100-40, needed 114 votes.  for "Referendum."  But Post-Special Session, after member of TSP wrote open letter to Copurant...it ain't over 'til it's over dept.: 

From the CTNEWSJUNKIE Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015:  “....This bill failed to define the source of revenue coming in, allows diversions before the money even gets to the fund, and even allows the legislature to continue adding expenditures' Reps. John Scott, Mike France, Kathleen McCarty; Aundre Bumgardner, and Doug Dubitsky wrote in an open letter. 'That means when state budgets get tough, the legislature can simply vote to raid the ‘lockbox’ again. Effectively, this allows the legislature to shift money from one pocket to the other as a way to balance a budget without having to actually reduce state spending.'”

"But Malloy, who plans to make the announcement Tuesday at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce breakfast, said he wanted a lockbox for the half-percent of the sales tax dedicated to funding transportation, and he plans to get a lockbox...."

HERE IS THE LINK TO WHAT SPECIAL SESSION DID:  We will be spending a few hours fihuring this out later!!!

We watched the CT Tax Panel all day - see our running commentary here:  http://www.aboutweston.com/financeboard.html#cttaxpanel

I D E A . . . A S    R E P O  R  T E D    I N    T H E    C T    M I R R O R
Special Session will come up with deficit mitigation for the remainder of the biennium - do you believe this will have any impact on the major problem?

Remember this?  Happened after Governor and Legislature declared the equivalent of "peace in our time".

The complete frustration with the Administration, including a Democrat from Westport/Norwalk, at the Westport Chamber of Commerce Legislative Wrap-Up.

"STRUCTURAL, OPTIONAL, MILL RATE ADJUSTMENTS" MEANS WHAT?  LIKE ADJUSTING YOUR GOLF GRIP?  We note that it could mean a voluntary Regional Property Tax that adds some amount (i.e. a mill or two or less?) on those towns whose mill rate is some percentage lower than the average for all 169 towns, to make up for lost funding from the State to those towns in the Region whose mill rate is a similar percentage above CT average...D.O.A., don't you think?


Special legislative session set for Tuesday
By Ken Dixon Updated 2:19 pm, Friday, December 4, 2015

After eight closed-door meetings failed to yield a bipartisan compromise on tackling the state’s growing budget deficit, Democrats may go their own way next week in a deal with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to cut some controversial new business taxes while reducing spending by $350-million.

Malloy, using his prerogative that will include the delivery of summonses to dozens of lawmakers, has set Tuesday for a special session. House Democrats, who hold an 87-64 majority, caucused Friday afternoon to see if there is a consensus for agreement. Senate Democrats, who have a 21-15 edge, surveyed members over the phone Friday to check on their availability for floor debates and votes next week...http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Special-legislative-session-set-for-Tuesday-6675716.php#photo-9060318


December 8th (Tuesday) is the day for Special Session - http://ctmirror.org/2015/12/03/theres-a-deal-but-not-a-bipartisan-one-to-mitigate-state-budget-deficit/

Auditors again find costly problems with state pension program
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | November 25, 2015

For the second time in five months, state auditors have disclosed a host of problems with the state’s retirement benefits programs.

And while much of Tuesday’s report focused on millions of dollars in “preventable” interest costs tied to a growing backlog in processing pension cases, Auditors John C. Geragosian and Robert M. Ward also repeated earlier concerns and raised new ones about the state’s controversial disability pension program...http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/25/auditors-again-find-costly-problems-with-state-pension-program/

BUT FIRST, BEHIND-CLOSED-DOORS NEGOTIATIONS MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2015...and Monday November 2...more coming???  YUP - thanks to CTNEWSJUNKIE F.O.I. complaint.

Lawmakers Look To Second Week of December for Special Session
by Christine Stuart | Nov 24, 2015 6:53pm


WILL THERE BE A SPECIAL SESSION BEFORE XMAS?  Excellent article laying out the issues Nov. 24th in CT MIRROR:  http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/24/is-pension-fund-in-play-as-remedy-for-state-budget-deficits/


House Democrats Reject Retirement Incentive Plan
Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant
Nov. 20, 2015 4:05pm

Breaking sharply with their Senate colleagues and Republicans, the House Democrats strongly rejected a retirement incentive plan Friday for state employees.  The proposal, which would have been offered to employees aged 55 and over, would have saved an estimated $163 million over two years, according to Senate Democrats who pushed the idea.  But House Speaker Brendan Sharkey said Friday that his caucus members say the plan "is not on the table and should not be on the table...''  story in full:  http://www.courant.com/politics/capitol-watch/hc-house-democrats-reject-retirement-incentive-plan-20151120-story.html

And the CTNEWSJUNKIE on the same topic as below:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/the_democratic_divide/#more

Senate Dems break with House, go own way on deficit

By: Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas | November 19, 2015

Senate Democrats issued their own deficit-mitigation plan Thursday, pressing for a retirement incentive plan opposed by House Democrats and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as damaging to the state’s overburdened pension system...http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/19/senate-dems-break-with-house-go-own-way-on-deficit/


Democrat legislators need the weekend to come up with theirs:


GOP suggestions:

Republicans Pitch Budget Cuts, Details Get Leaked -

by Christine Stuart | Nov 12, 2015 4:59pm

Details of Thursday’s budget negotiations between Republicans, Democrats, and the Malloy administration were supposed to remain private, but within a short period of time details of the plans proposed by the Republicans and the Malloy administration were leaked to the CT Mirror.

The Malloy administration and Republican legislative spokesmen denied leaking the documents, but the Republicans suggested that mischaracterizations of their proposal in the Mirror’s story didn’t come from them.

By the end of the day and after an FOI request for the documents was filed by CTNewsJunkie, the Malloy administration released their 36-page plan for spending cuts. The Republicans said they will release their proposed cuts at a 10 a.m. news conference Friday...story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/republicans_pitch_budget_cuts_details_get_leaked/#more

Republican Budget Proposal Offers Early Retirement To State Workers
Hartford Courant
Daniela Altimari
Nov. 12, 2015

HARTFORD – Republican lawmakers on Thursday laid out a vision for closing a $350 million budget gap that includes an early retirement incentive for state workers.

The proposal contemplates that 1,600 state employees would accept the offer. They would be replaced by workers earning less money, saving the state $79.9 million in the current fiscal year and $95.6 million in 2017....story in full:  http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-republicans-budget-malloy-20151112-story.html

Connecticut GOP offers budget ideas, no social service cuts
The DAY (from A.P.)
Published November 12. 2015 3:36PM

Hartford — Republican legislative leaders are offering ideas on how to close Connecticut's budget gap and ways to make structural changes for the long term.

The General Assembly's minority party presented its concepts Thursday behind closed doors to Democratic legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. No details were provided, but Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said social services cuts were not proposed. Changes affecting state employees were suggested...http://www.theday.com/state-news/20151112/connecticut-gop-offers-budget-ideas-no-social-service-cuts

Malloy pitches $350M in cuts; GOP wants mix of cuts, labor savings
By: Keith M. Phaneuf, Arielle Levin Becker, Mark Pazniokas and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas | November 12, 2015

...State officials from both parties are scrambling to mitigate rapidly increasing deficit projections, both for the current fiscal year as well as the next two. If a deal can be struck, the legislature is expected to return in special session...http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/12/malloy-pitches-350m-in-cuts-gop-wants-labor-concessions/


Shrinking revenue forecast shows CT’s red ink spreading fast
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | November 10, 2015

Story in full with very telling photo of OPM chief here:  http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/10/shrinking-revenue-forecast-shows-cts-red-ink-spreading-fast/


Revenues Fall Short, But Are In Line With Expectations
by Christine Stuart | Nov 10, 2015 1:11pm

...After an unrelated capitol press briefing, Barnes said that puts in context the need to mitigate the budget shortfall now in a special session, before the budget adjustment session, which starts in February 2016.

“Maybe things get better in January and we add some stuff back, but I think this sets the stage for what the budget discussions will look like for next year,” Barnes added.

Tuesday’s revenue report showed that income tax revenue was lower than expected, sales tax was close to what was estimated in June, and the inheritance and estate tax was up slightly.

Lawmakers and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will meet again Thursday to discuss their proposals to cut spending between $350 to $370 million. It will be their third meeting since Malloy used his executive authority to cut $103 million from the 2016 state budget.

Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/revenues_fall_short_but_are_in_line_with_expectations/

This is related, don't you think?
Sharkey Admits Mistakes Were Made In Balancing Budget
by Elizabeth Regan | Nov 5, 2015 3:00pm

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey is leaning on the business community for comprehensive and specific recommendations about how to balance the budget in order to avoid the kind of “bad decisions” that get made when lawmakers are left to their own devices...story in full:   http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/sharkey_admits_mistakes_were_made_in_balancing_budget/


Legislative Leaders, Malloy Agree On $350-$370M Budget Shortfall
by Christine Stuart | Nov 4, 2015 3:35pm

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey

Legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy agreed Wednesday to close a $350-to-$370 million mid-year budget shortfall after a second round of negotiations...story in full: 

Also Oct. 28, 2015:  http://jonathanpelto.com/2015/10/28/malloy-announces-new-fiscal-strategy-based-on-the-notion-of-putting-head-in-sand/

Malloy calls for big change in pension financing, modest business tax cuts
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | October 28, 2015

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy discusses his budget proposals to a meeting of state commissioners Monday...

Updated at 2:33 p.m.

East Hartford -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy outlined Wednesday a sweeping plan to overhaul state government’s pension system, pushing some costs off for a decade and a half to control spiking costs that he argued could drive up taxes and drain vital programs...

Story in full at CT MIRROR.

Connecticut Not Alone; Six States Have Held Special Sessions on Budget
Oct. 25, 2015

So who else is having Special Sessions this year?  Read about it here:  http://ctbythenumbers.info/2015/10/25/connecticut-not-alone-six-states-have-held-special-sessions-on-budget/

After first meeting:  http://www.ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=12128

Malloy, legislators signal priorities in budget talks

By: Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf
October 23, 2015

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy engaged in some unconventional  lobbying Friday to signal to legislators an unwillingness to scale back his transportation initiative or give up on cutting at least some social services to close a mid-year deficit...story in full:  http://ctmirror.org/2015/10/23/malloy-legislators-signal-priorities-in-budget-talks/


House Democrats Set Conditions For Budget Talks
by Christine Stuart
Oct 23, 2015 4:19pm

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz said if Republican lawmakers want to be part of bipartisan budget negotiations they will need to follow three rules.

The first rule is “when you’re in the room, you stay in the room, until the job is done,” Sharkey said Friday after a closed-door caucus with his members. The second rule “is you come to the room with real ideas and a willingness to compromise,” and the third rule is “you bring votes.”

Sharkey said those are the three conditions they have to live by and “would expect the Republicans to do the same...”  Story in full: 

Coalition Calls for Tax Increases To Close Budget Gap, But No One Seems To Be Listening
by Christine Stuart
Oct 21, 2015 11:14am

From the CTNEWSJUNKIE report:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/upload/2015/10/BC4C_Statement_on_Call_for_Meeting_on_Predicted_Revenue_Shortfalls.pdf

This is the one that produced the "Implementer" that was intended to paper over the problems...see what happened next.

2015 Budget Deficit Grows
by Christine Stuart | Mar 23, 2015 5:30am

While lawmakers figure out how to deal with a two-year budget that’s over the constitutional spending cap, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director reminded them Friday that this year’s budget is running a $138.2 million deficit.

In his monthly letter to state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Malloy budget director Ben Barnes wrote that the he’s increasing the fiscal year 2015 budget deficit by $71.6 million from last month because the federal government denied its Medicaid claims from the first quarter of 2014.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied Connecticut’s request to fully fund part of the Medicaid expansion population, which will cost the state about $45 million in medical claims that were paid in anticipation of reimbursement from the federal government. The state has been fighting with President Barack Obama’s administration over the money since last summer. They received a partial payment in October.

“Options for appeal are currently being explored,” Barnes wrote...

Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano said increase in the deficit is “staggering and unacceptable.”

Fasano, who has been offering to help convene a special legislative session to help resolve the deficit, said “the governor is not paying attention and he is refusing to work on the problems Connecticut is facing. This leaves us with very few options, none of which are in the best interest of the state...”

Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/2015_budget_deficit_grows/

Nonpartisan Analysts Say Malloy Rescissions Don’t Cut As Much As Estimated

by Hugh McQuaid | Dec 4, 2014 1:57pm

Republican lawmakers... “Bottom line, we know we have a significant deficit, even after the governor’s rescissions. The longer we wait to address this problem in a productive bipartisan fashion the more hardship Connecticut taxpayers will face in the long run. The problem does not lie in our future. The problem is here and now and it’s time to work together to implement a long-term solution,” they said.  Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/nonpartisan_analysts_say_malloy_rescissions_dont_cut_as_much_as_estimated/

Bipartisanship Prevails In Budget Negotiations
by Christine Stuart | Dec 18, 2012 5:30am

The shooting in Newtown weighed heavily on the minds of state lawmakers as they reached a “tentative” agreement late Friday night on closing the $365 million budget deficit.

“If it wasn’t for Newtown I don’t know if we would have reached a compromise,” House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, said Monday evening after meeting behind closed-doors with rank-and-file lawmakers.  The details of the agreement, which he stressed was “tentative” is “truly a compromise,” Cafero said.

A compromise that means Democrats and Republicans didn’t get everything they wanted.

“It relies more heavily on spending cuts than we would have liked,” outgoing Speaker Chris Donovan said as he exited a closed-door caucus in the Legislative Office Building.

But Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, said the spending cuts were “equitably managed” in a way that protects the state’s resources and the safety net...story in full at CTNEWSJUNKIE.

DEFINITIONS:  The C.G.A. rules