Deadline looms as state leaders seek budget deal

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NORWALK -

The state's top lawmakers met with Gov. Dannel Malloy again Monday in an effort to come to terms four days before the budget deadline.

The top legislators of both parties and the governor say they hope to avoid that and negotiate terms on a $5 billion budget gap. Earlier in the day, the governor said that state employee unions agreed to vote on a major concessions package to help close that gap.

Gov. Malloy outlined on Monday a plan, a so-called "mini-budget," that still has cuts including changes to Medicare. It largely avoids, however, the extremely deep cuts that will happen if lawmakers don't pass any budget at all.

"The mini-budget would avoid some cuts that would otherwise be made to municipal aid, hospitals and nonprofit providers," Malloy said. "It would restore partial funding to summer youth employment programs and rental assistance costs."

Last week, Malloy said that if he were to take over spending, some state agencies would see budget cuts as high as 17 percent. Food stamps and Medicaid payments would not be affected.

As News 12 Connecticut has reported, if lawmakers fail to pass a new budget by Friday, it's likely that the governor will take over state spending, and he has promised drastic cuts to keep costs under control. Hundreds of millions of dollars in school grants would be cut, and nonprofits would see up to a 15 percent cut, effective immediately.

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