- Associated Press - Monday, September 18, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday that he is willing to compromise with Republicans on a bipartisan budget plan, but he reiterated that he will veto the GOP-backed budget that passed the legislature over the weekend.

Malloy told reporters more than two months into the fiscal year that a new budget “can and likely should” include Republican ideas he does not like, but he added that Republicans must be willing to adopt some ideas they don’t like.

“That’s how compromise works. That’s how negotiations work,” he said. “And I’m eager to get that work underway.”

Malloy has been running government with his limited spending authority. And under an executive order, without a new budget law by Oct. 1, major spending cuts would automatically go into effect, including to cities and towns.

Lawmakers were expected to vote last Friday on a budget plan Malloy had worked out with the General Assembly’s Democratic leadership. Instead, several Democrats crossed the aisle, voting instead for the minority Republicans’ plan, which passed the Senate on Friday night and the House on Saturday.

Senate Republican leader Len Fasano of North Haven said that vote means Democrats, who control both houses, won’t be able to craft any new plan without his party’s input.

“The old days are not going to work,” he said Monday.

Malloy said his office is vetting the details of the Republican’s $40.7 billion two-year budget. But he criticized it for underfunding pension obligations; cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from higher education, especially the University of Connecticut; not providing enough funding for transportation projects; and not providing enough aid to municipalities such as Hartford, which he said would almost certainly be required to go bankrupt.

Malloy said any budget must provide structural fiscal reforms, must prioritize helping those in need and should not be driven by additional taxes and other revenues.

He said he was reaching out to leaders on both sides of the aisle to begin new budget talks.

He declined to answer whether he believed the new negotiations should use as a base the Republican budget or the Democrat plan.

A compromise, he said, is “not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to happen fairly quickly, I imagine.”

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