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Budget Votes Coming Today and Tomorrow; “Compromise” Reached

October 25, 2017 By Staff
Budget Votes Coming Today and Tomorrow; “Compromise” Reached

After Democratic and Republican leaders reached a compromise on a two-year budget, legislators will vote this week to end the impasse.

Democratic and Republican leaders in the legislature reached a deal this week on a balanced, two-year budget that cuts spending and some tax credits, raises taxes on cigarettes and hospitals, and introduces structural changes to how the legislature handles union agreements.

The Hartford Courant has a thorough write-up of the deal, and what each party’s leaders consider ‘wins’ in the compromise.

If passed, Connecticut will eliminate the $3.5 billion deficit the state is projected to run in fiscal years (FYs) 2018 and 2019, which runs from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2019.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the Senate will convene to vote on the budget at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) tweeted on Wednesday morning that his caucus “will not let Rome burn.”

On the other side of the aisle, the Connecticut House Democrats tweeted on Monday morning that the agreement “is a true compromise” and “an important step forward for the state.”

The deal also received a boost on Wednesday from the “free-market, limited-government” Yankee Institute, which highlighted several structural changes the budget makes to how Connecticut handles union agreements.

“Based on the information we now have on the bipartisan budget agreement — and assuming the bill’s language accurately reflects the summaries we’ve received — Yankee Institute supports the compromise agreement. It contains important structural reforms, including a required vote on all government union contracts; limits on the duration of future government union agreements; increases pension contributions from some government workers; and includes prevailing wage reform. It enacts a strong state spending cap, as well as a bonding cap — in accordance with the long-expressed wishes of Connecticut residents. What’s more, it does not lead with significant tax increases, and even begins to change the state estate tax so that it will eventually conform with federal thresholds. Certainly, the deal is far from perfect. But it is an important start to restoring Connecticut’s prosperity — and we congratulate the reformers who remained true to their principles and battled the forces of the status quo to achieve these essential changes.”

The budget is expected to receive a vote in the Senate on Wednesday night, and the House on Thursday. If it passes both chambers, the budget goes to Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.), who vetoed the first bipartisan budget last month.