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Connecticut Budget Drama Is Over...For Now

The Connecticut State Capitol Building in Hartford

Connecticut's state budget debate is over...at least for now. On Wednesday Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed fixes to the state budget that were approved by the State Senate on Tuesday.

Unlike the Senate where the bill passed unanimously, the Connecticut House voted 123 to 12 in favor of the bill. One of the no votes was Michael Winkler, a Democrat from Vernon. He complained about the fix to language that held up $26 million in financial assistance to elderly renters. Winkler said his town now has to come up with $144,000 because the Office of Policy and Management is not fully funding the program.

“So I’m going to vote against this because allowing OPM to claw back $8.5 million from grants to the towns is a bad precedent to set.”

The bill also makes various changes to a hospital tax to make it possible for the state and hospitals to get federal reimbursement funds.

Melissa Ziobron, a Republican from East Haddam, warned her colleagues that passage of the bill does not mean an end to their work. Ziobron noted that the new budget is already in deficit.

“I want to make sure that my colleagues on this side of the aisle know that we have more tough decisions to make. We are going to do that together. But let’s be honest about the fiscal climate of this state.”

The budget fixes now go to Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy for his signature.

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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