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Connecticut Senate, House Pass $44 Billion State Budget

The Connecticut State House and Senate approved the $37.6 billion state budget over the weekend. The next step is to have the Governor sign it.
The Connecticut State House and Senate approved the $37.6 billion state budget over the weekend. The next step is to have the Governor sign it. Photo Credit: Connecticut General Assembly

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The $44 billion Connecticut biennial budget passed through both the House and Senate early this week.

The House passed the budget at 5 a.m. Sunday after a five-hour debate in a 95-48 vote, and the Senate passed it Monday in a 19 -7 vote, both largely along party lines. The budget bill now goes to Gov. Dannel Malloy for signing.

“Of course, no budget is perfect and this budget required many tough cuts, many tough choices and hard compromises. We still have a long way to go. But this budget shows that we’ve got our priorities straight, and we are determined to keep Connecticut moving forward,” Malloy said in a statement.

However, many Republicans disagree with the governor, saying that he and the Democrats broke several promises, in particular to not raise taxes, not to go over the spending cap, not use gimmicks, to be compliant with the generally accepted accounting principles and to not raid special appropriations funds like the transportation, tobacco and probate court funds.

“Connecticut is a land of broken promises. The income tax, spending cap, real estate tax, corporation tax, energy tax were all temporary taxes that were to have been sun-setted and removed from the books. No wonder some here refuse to vote for any new temporary tax, no matter how compelling the argument, no wonder the public does not trust its state government. This budget proposal enacted by the majority party is a disappointment and builds on Connecticut’s reputation as a business and taxpayer unfriendly state,” said state Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, in a statement.

According to Boucher, the Republicans had not been invited to participate in the budget negotiations.

“We need to live within the limits of this Constitutional cap, as approved by more than that 80 percent of voters at the polls, back in 2001! This budget renders the cap meaningless and re-defines the will of the people,” said state Rep. Tom O’Dea, R- New Canaan, in a statement.

The budget includes more than $6 billion over the two-year budget in aid to cities and towns across the state, which also includes millions for public and private schools for bus aid that had been up for cuts.

Republican lawmakers added that the budget exceeds the spending cap by $6 billion.

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