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Connecticut House also passes GOP budget; Malloy veto expected

16 September, 2017, 22:49 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • Lawmakers to vote on state budget plan┬átoday

"The budget approved by the Senate today includes much-needed long-term structural reforms and addresses the increasing costs of state government", CBIA President and CEO Joe Brennan said in a statement.

The state budget is already more than two months late. Paul Doyle, D-Wethersfield, Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, and Joan Hartley, D-Waterbury, all said the Democrats' $41.4-billion budget would have been bad for the state at a time when its economy continues to struggle.

Connecticut Republicans saw their budget pass the Connecticut Senate in an unexpected and politically shocking development more than two and a half months into a budget stalemate. And while she didn't predict any outcome, she said it might be appealing to some House Democrats wary of growing taxes in the state.

Sources said the state's role in overseeing financially distressed municipalities remained one of the key sticking points in the talks.

Minority Leader Themis Klarides said she hopes the governor will at least consider the proposal, which she says is a bi-partisan compromise.

The Democratic budget plan calls for $10 million in annual bonding and a $12 annual surcharge on certain homeowners' insurance policies, which was expected to raise about $10 million per year.

Doyle said after the vote that he wants the legislature to "move forward with a bipartisan budget".

Republicans are refusing to support the plan Malloy and Democratic leaders are working toward, largely because of the tax hikes involved to help close significant projected deficits.

Three moderate Democratic senators then announced they would not be voting for their party's version of the state budget, which contributed to a shift in majority support over to the GOP.

The package also includes an increase in the hospital tax.

"It relies on too many unrealistic savings, it contains huge cuts to higher education, and it would violate existing state contracts with our employees, resulting in costly legal battles for years to come", Malloy said of the GOP plan.

The state Senate was expected to take up the budget on Friday. Republicans say these changes reduce required contributions into the pension fund starting right away.

Eyewitness News reached out to the governor's office on Saturday. The change in how those costs are funded would generate about $91.9 million for the state in 2018 and $189.7 million in 2019.

Hartford officials have said that city could be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

Fasano said that the city also should be ready to discuss getting rid of the XL Center arena it owns, but the state operates and effectively controls, in downtown Hartford.

Looney said the vote only "will prolong this contest which is so damaging".

Some Democrats also object to the Republican budget because it reduces income tax credits for the working poor more than the Democratic plan does. Absent a budget, Malloy has said he has no choice but to reduce major general government and education grants to cities and towns on September 30 and October 1.

Communities would pay only the "normal cost", an actuarial term referring to the full amount that must be set aside annually to cover the future pensions of present-day teachers.

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