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As final budget negotiations begin, Lamont pledges on time and honest budget

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Associated Press
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has responded to the two-year budget proposals passed by Democrats in the Appropriations and Finance committees this week.

As final budget negotiations are set to begin, Lamont pledges to get “an honestly balanced budget, without gimmicks with a significant tax cut for the middle class and honoring a commitment to the folks most in need.”

Lamont said he’d prefer the broad-based middle-class tax cut he had proposed in February, rather than the targeted changes in the Democrats’ plan.

“It makes it easier for me to recruit and hold companies to say that I have a broad-based tax cut. And it’s not short-term and it’s not a credit, it’s something you can count on. But look, you sit down, and you negotiate these things,” said Lamont.

Lamont's proposal would eliminate state income taxes for families making less than $50,000 a year and reduce taxes for those earning up to $100,000 a year. It would save taxpayers about $50 a week.

The Democrats’ plan, which is more narrow, would save eligible taxpayers about $30 a week.

The state’s nonprofit social service agencies have complained that they are not adequately funded in the Democrats' plan.

Lamont promises to take up their cause during final budget negotiations.

“We are going to be looking at revenue assumptions, you know, coming in over the next week, 10 days, and if we have a little bit of flexibility that would be a priority for me to do a little more help for the nonprofits,” said Lamont.

Lamont said is confident in a budget deal before the session ends in June because the Democrats’ proposal conforms to the spending caps and other budget guardrails put in place by a bipartisan agreement in 2017.

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.