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Conn. Budget Assumes $15 Million In Savings From Bill That Has Not Yet Passed

Jessica Hill

Governor Dannel Malloy says millions of dollars in savings contained in the Connecticut budget depend on lawmakers also passing his criminal justice reform bill.  

Malloy’s Second Chance 2.0 bill raises the age for which a defendant is considered a juvenile and allows most defendants accused of misdemeanors to be released without bail. Speaking on a

Hartford radio program on Wednesday, the governor said his administration crafted the budget with passage of the Second Chance bill in mind.

“We built into the budget that we just passed last week $15 million of savings based on Second Chance Society passing. So we can save the people of Connecticut money but also stop incarcerating people simply because they are poor."

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) says many lawmakers who were reluctant to consider the bill when they voted for the budget in special session last week may not have realized this.

“We need to make sure that we have our folks educated about what’s in the bill so that they have the comfort that they need to support it before we finish up the special session.”

Sharkey says he expects to call House members back to Hartford before Memorial Day to vote on the bill. He predicts it might be a narrow vote.

The state Senate is evenly divided on the Second Chance bill – 18 for and 18 against. That means a vote from Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman would be needed to break the tie.

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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