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Connecticut Republicans Emphasize Infrastructure In Stimulus Plan

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Connecticut House Republicans have proposed an alternative to Democratic Governor Ned Lamont’s spending plan for the American Rescue Act funding. The state is set to receive $2.6 billion in federal assistance.

State Representative Mike France is the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee. He said Lamont’s plan for allocating the federal money includes some recurring expenses like college financial aid.

“Which just creates a cliff in two years,” France said.

He said instead, the GOP alternative allocates money to fix state infrastructure.

“This one time revenue is an opportunity to make investment in that infrastructure, both transportation infrastructure as well as physical infrastructure in case of our buildings and facilities across the state,” France said.

The GOP plan also allocates money to help shore up the unemployment trust fund for businesses. It drastically reduces the amount the governor allocates for unemployment benefits.

Representative Holly Cheeseman is the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee. She said the GOP plan looks out for business interests by shoring up the state’s unemployment trust fund.

“We propose putting 350 million of this federal money into that trust fund. To again soften the blow to businesses. Who are the only ones who are going to be playing for this cost,” Cheeseman said.

Democratic lawmakers have also indicated that they would like a say on how the funds are allocated.

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.