Lawmakers must reach spending deal to avoid transit fare hike

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NORWALK -

Metro-North riders could see a 10 percent fare hike this July if state lawmakers don't reach a budget deal by Wednesday night.

"They continue to go up and up," Norwalk's Bryan Noonan says of the fares. "It seems like that's always the flow."

Democrats released what they called a compromise document Monday morning and planned to meet with Republicans to try and come to terms and avoid raising ticket prices further.

Lawmakers have money to avoid the fare hikes after an unexpected tax windfall this year.

But if they don't agree on how to spend it, it will all go into the "Rainy Day Fund," which is essentially the state's savings account.

Democratic Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, the state House speaker, says his party's plan would cover just the things both parties agree upon and postpone controversial topics until next year. 

Republicans say they want long-term fixes.

Last year, the budget standoff dragged on for months.

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