Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, together with legislative leaders from all four caucuses, tonight released the following statements on the bipartisan deficit mitigation bill:
"I want to thank legislative leaders in both chambers and from both parties, and the people they brought with them to the negotiations, for coming together to make sure we end the year with a balanced budget," said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. "The events of the last few days have made the differences we have in Hartford seem very small by comparison. It is my hope that we can keep this collaborative spirit going in the weeks and months ahead."
"This agreement and this bill are great examples of how government is supposed to work," said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. "In these difficult times the people of Connecticut are not interested in political rhetoric or bickering. They want action that will help move our state forward and that is exactly what this plan will do."
"Today's agreement to close the current year's budget shortfall represents the conclusion of more than two weeks of bipartisan negotiations," said Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. "None of these cuts were easy to make; however, all the parties came to the bargaining table in good faith and worked together to forge a compromise to balance our budget."
"It is gratifying that just as we did with the Jobs Bill of October 2011, we came together to work with the Governor and our Republican colleagues to close the current year shortfall and do what needed to be done to balance our budget," said Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney. "Since we had a lean budget to begin with, these cuts were painful, but necessary."
"Our state government works best when all parties contribute to the final product. I'm pleased that we were able to come together in a bipartisan way to balance the FY 2013 budget without additional tax increases," said Senate Minority Leader John McKinney. "I am hopeful that we can repeat this process and outcome when we tackle the deficits our state faces over the next two years."
"This compromise protects important services while making tough cuts to close the budget deficit," said House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan. "This was not the time for partisan politics, so Democrats and Republicans pushed aside their differences and worked together to find solutions."
"Today's action not only puts our state budget back in balance, but will allow us to continue to move forward with important job creation initiatives while preserving the safety net for those in need," said House Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey. "This agreement reflects the hard work and good will of both parties, which is exactly what the people of Connecticut expect."
"The collective effort put forth by both Republicans and Democrats to close the state budget gap is a testament to our ability to work cooperatively in the best interests of all of Connecticut," said House Republican Leader Larry Cafero. "It was heartening, given the dire backdrop of all that has taken place in Connecticut over the last week."
HB 7001 passed both chambers by a vote of 140-3 in the House and 31-3 in the Senate. It will be transmitted immediately to the Governor for his signature.