Democrats and Republicans released rival spending plans Friday as they struggled to balance the budget on a chaotic day when the current year’s deficit increased sharply.
The Democratic plan would increase spending by $216 million over the amount approved last year, and by $146.2 million more than proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in February. It includes restoring cuts to municipal aid and providing start-up money for a program to offer free college tuition to low-income students.
“The free tuition is a good idea,’’ said Senate Republican leader Len Fasano of North Haven. “We just can’t afford it at this time.’’
The Democrat-controlled appropriations committee, however,...