(CBS Connecticut) — House Republican lawmakers today presented the latest version of their taxing and spending proposal. They want to cut the state workforce by 10 percent, over the next five years.

Christopher Davis is the top House republican on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

House GOP lawmakers also want to save money by eliminating the Citizens Election Program, which provides funding to candidates for state office who agree to follow clean election rules.

“We limit the refill of vacated positions due to natural attrition, and reduce the state workforce positions as a result of privatization efforts. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Department of Developmental Services would be the most impacted by those privatizations,” Davis said.

Meanwhile, Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz says he is confident there will be an agreement on a state budget by the end of the month.

“I think there have been great conversations, even today listening to the House Republicans proposal there are some things we can work on, as long as folks are willing to compromise, and vote for things they don’t necessarily agree with because they are getting something on the other end,” Aresimowicz said.

As they deal with a 2-year, 5-billion dollar deficit, state lawmakers have so far been unable to pass a taxing and spending plan. The state has been without a budget since the start of the month.

Aresimowicz says there could be problems with Republicans’ proposal to seek additional concessions from state employees, beyond an agreement that state workers are now voting on.

“Also in there are some changes for folks who are already retired,” Aresimowicz said. “There are Supreme Court cases that do not allow you to change the benefits of people who are already retired.  [Republicans] say they are more of a management change, so we will look at that.”

 

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