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Lamont Proposes Balancing Connecticut Budget With Federal Aid, Rainy Day Fund, Marijuana

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has proposed a $46 billion two-year state budget. It is balanced by relying on aid from the federal government and dipping into the state’s rainy day fund.

Lamont told lawmakers in a recorded video address that his top priority is to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order.

“My budget achieves this without broad-based tax increases, reducing municipal aid or cutting any existing services. These are commitments I will not break,” Lamont said.

He said that’s why he’s proposed getting rid of the projected $4 billion two-year deficit by leveraging more state and local government aid from the federal government and a partial drawdown on the state’s $3.5 billion rainy day fund.

“The pandemic reminds us that this is no time to limit out ambitions,” Lamont said.

Lamont proposes to raise new revenue from the legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana and state regulation of online gaming.

“And importantly my proposed legislation authorizes the automated erasure of criminal records for those with marijuana related drug convictions, and charges,” Lamont said.

Lamont also resurrects a truck-only highway toll he first proposed two years ago. This time he calls it a tractor trailer mileage-based fee. He said the fee would raise about $90 million a year and would only apply to larger heavy weight trucks. He said similar fees are already in place in New York and Oregon.

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.