- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday he is calling Connecticut lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special legislative session on the state budget shortfall, even though a bipartisan agreement hasn’t been reached.

The Democrat said he believes lawmakers are “close enough” on a plan to cover an estimated $350 million to $370 million deficit in the current $20 billion budget. The package also includes various business tax changes. It comes as Malloy is scheduled to meet with officials from General Electric Co. on Friday. The conglomerate is considering moving its headquarters out of Connecticut.

Malloy said he wants rank-and-file legislators back to work on Tuesday.

“It’s time for everyone to get the job done,” he said. “We have tax changes that should be made. We have spending changes that should be made.”

Democratic and Republican legislative leaders emerged together from their latest closed-door talks with Malloy on Thursday to announce they haven’t reached a bipartisan deal. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said there was not enough agreement on several policy issues, but didn’t elaborate.

“We tried very hard and had a great exchange,” said Fasano, who credited Malloy for his “great leadership” throughout the talks. “But we just couldn’t get there.”

Democrats and Republicans said there will be more conversations before Tuesday’s special session in the hopes they can still come to a bipartisan, mid-year budget agreement.

“There will certainly be continued conversations before we go in, in the hopes that something may change,” said House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby. “But right now, there is no deal in regards to the policy conversations because we haven’t been able to reach a meeting of the minds.”

Democrats, who control the General Assembly, expressed confidence they can pass a deficit-cutting and tax plan that Malloy will sign into law, even without support from the minority Republicans.

The legislature adjourned in June and isn’t scheduled to have its next regular session until February.

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