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State Budget Talks Continue
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As the legislative session enters its final stretch legislators and the governor continue to negotiate ways to close the state's budget deficit. But some say that each day of delay comes with a cost. WNPRs Jeff Cohen reports.

Last week, the state senate passed a plan to help close this years more than $370 million dollar state deficit, but Governor Jodi Rell said she''d veto it and the house decided not to take the bill up at all. Senate President Donald Williams says there needs to be a greater sense of urgency.

"We going to lose for example five million dollars in savings as of April 2nd because were not able to have the savings in the cut in the longevity pay. Thats just one example. So folks need to realize that the longer we wait, the worse it becomes."

Williams is referring to $5 million dollars in bonus money for some state employees that the senate voted to cut. He also says some in Hartford may be encouraging a delay in action to score political points in a legislative election year.

"That's not the way we ought to be treating this problem."

House Speaker Chris Donovan said he shares Williams' urgency, but he noted that there are also signs of some progress with the governor's staff.  

"Some of her staff and my staff have talked, theyve traded ideas, and I know the appropriations chairs were approached by the governor's office as well, so more discussions re moving forward and I think people want to get the job done."

Keith Phaneuf covers the budget for the Connecticut Mirror. He says that delaying action on balancing the budget only costs the state money.

"At some point in time, the potential for savings goes away because youve spent the money. It's just another example of how every month that goes by, that's another opportunity to cut spending thats passed, that's another opportunity to raise and accrue more taxes that's passed."

And here's another variable. Taxes will soon be due. And State Comptroller Nancy Wyman said Wednesday there's no way to know until the end of April whether the state brought in more or less money in taxes than it hoped. That's just as the legislature winds up its work.

For WNPR, Im Jeff Cohen.