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Governor, GOP leaders after closed-door talks

Media: CTGlobal

HARTFORD — The governor and Republican leaders took a few baby steps Friday toward a potential budget compromise, but major differences remained in the historic stalemate that is nearly paralyzing Connecticut government.

After more than one hour in his Capitol office, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said major items in the Republican budget would result in labor lawsuits and unacceptable cuts to higher education, including a $244 million cut to the University of Connecticut.

Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano, of North Haven, and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, of Derby, said they look forward to more bipartisan discussions with Malloy on Tuesday, when he is expected to veto the budget that passed last week.

“There’s a difference (between) going to a dinner and being eaten at a dinner,” said Malloy, who has proposed $50 million in cuts to UConn. “We’re inviting them to dinner, but we shouldn’t be eating them.”

If a new two-year budget can’t get voted on by Oct. 1, Malloy’s executive order would continue. As many as 80 wealthier communities would not receive traditional state education grants on that date, including Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Fairfield, Stratford and Milford.

“It was a good meeting,” Klarides told reporters. “We expressed our concerns and our interests in what should happen going forward. The governor expressed a strong interest in vetoing the budget.”

“We talked a lot about policies, and I think there are a lot of policies that we have fundamental beliefs on that are in-common as issues,” Fasano said. “Perhaps it’s resolutions of those issues we differ on.” Twitter: @KenDixonCT