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Connecticut Democrats announce a budget deal

The Connecticut state Capitol building in Hartford.
Danielle Wedderburn
The Connecticut state Capitol building in Hartford.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders said they have reached a deal on a $24.2 billion state budget package.

The package contains about half a billion in tax cuts for working families and the middle class and extends the 25-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax holiday until December 1, said Lamont

“So overall I think you see a budget that is going to take care of folks most in need — a budget that’s done on time making significant investments that will allow people to get back to work” he said.

It was easy to negotiate a deal this year because the state has a $4 billion budget surplus and federal pandemic relief money, said Senate President Martin Looney.

“This was a time when we were rather excited about this process rather than dreading it. We saw there were opportunities here of doing things that needed to be done. Rather than which of our beloved things needed to take a hit,” said Looney.

The budget spends $120 million on a new child tax credit, $100 million on a state cap for municipal car taxes, and $40 million to eliminate a state tax on pensions and retirement income. It also spends $10 million for student loan help, and $40 million to increase the earned income tax credit.

A vote on the package would be scheduled before the session ends next Wednesday, according to legislative leaders.

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.