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Lamont prepares for final Connecticut budget negotiations

Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Associated Press
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont delivers the State of the State during opening session at the State Capitol, Feb. 5, 2020, in Hartford.

Final budget negotiations between Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and legislative leaders are expected to begin on Tuesday. The governor is optimistic a deal will soon be reached.

Lamont said that’s because the Finance Committee’s tax plan and the Appropriations Committee's spending plan are close to what he asked for in his budget.

“I think, surely the appropriations budget keeps within the spending cap. We have different priorities. That’s the type of thing Jeff and Paul Mounds would be able to work through,” Lamont said.

Jeff Beckham, Lamont’s budget director, and Paul Mounds, his chief of staff, are leading the negotiations.

Beckham said the Finance Committee’s plan is out of balance by about $784 million. While the Appropriations plan has a $31 million surplus. That's out of a $22 billion budget.

He said the major difference between the governor's budget and the legislative plans is that lawmakers would like to spend more money on tax cuts.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.