Now that statewide public hearings have wrapped up, members of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee are ready to tackle the state budget. JFC co-chair, State Senator Russ Decker (D-Weston), says the six hearings held around the state over the past month brought up many budget issues lawmakers expected to hear. Funding of public education, health care cost containment, and road improvements were among the most common issues brought up.

Decker says he's ready to use the information gained through meeting with the public to start negotiating the state budget. He's hopeful the JFC can get to work soon on the Governor's budget proposals.

Still, the Weston Democrat is expecting difficulties with a divided legislature and committee. The JFC has eight Democrats and eight Republicans, prompting many concerns over a long delay in the budget process. Despite that, Decker hopeful that budget talks can begin sometime this week. 

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 :54)

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