Malloy says state budget passed by House is reasonable

As the state Senate began debating the two-year budget approved Sunday by the House of Representatives, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told editors and publishers from the state's news media that the budget, while "not perfect," makes systemic changes "and continues to move Connecticut forward."

Noting that the Senate hadn't yet voted, Malloy indicated in a conference call Monday afternoon that he finds the deviations the legislature made from his original budget reasonable. He called on his budget director, Ben Barnes, to fill in the blanks on specific spending and revenue questions from the editors.

Representatives' unwillingness to commit to an auction of energy clients' business, which was projected to raise $80 million, led to many of the revenue items meant to make up the difference, the governor said.

Among those is a change of heart in the House that produced a willingness to allow keno games outside of the state's two Indian casinos, which Malloy surmised is because the states surrounding Connecticut all allow it.

The governor said tourism funding fares pretty well in the spending plan. Statewide, tourism will be funded at $12 million in each year and the budget maintains funding for regional districts, which Malloy had sought to eliminate.

Barnes said state agencies will have to start complying the generally accepted accounting principles – a Malloy pledge – starting July 1, although he noted that the funding that will support that is contained in a bond bill that hasn't yet been enacted.

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