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Connecticut Senate Passes Bipartisan Budget, House To Vote Today

Jessica Hill
Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano, R-North Haven, greets Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, right, during the opening session at the state Capitol in January in Hartford, Conn.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday morning, the Connecticut Senate passed a long-awaited, bipartisan compromise state budget agreement. The $41 billion two-year budget passed by an overwhelming vote of 33 to 3. It now heads to the state House of Representatives for a vote later today.

The compromise budget is the product of a month of closed-door negotiations between Democratic and Republican legislative leaders following Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy’s veto of a Republican-backed budget that passed in September.

Republican Senate President Len Fasano praised the compromise.

“We are one state committed to success, committed to bringing the economy back and moving this state forward. That’s what this budget does.”

Democratic Senate President Martin Looney credited Governor Malloy’s veto for forcing Republicans and Democrats to get to a compromise.

“This budget represents a significant compromise but also an improved product.”

Some highlights of the budget include a 45 cent increase in the cigarette tax, a 25 cent fee on ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and a reduction of the state’s earned income tax credit for low-income workers. There are also increased fees for a number of services, including land record filings and criminal history record checks. But there are no major changes to the personal income tax or sales tax. The plan also does not get rid of the local property tax on vehicles, which lawmakers had originally included.

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.
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