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Details Still Lacking As Bipartisan Deal Is Finalized

by | Oct 24, 2017 10:33am () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: State Budget, Education Cost Sharing, Special Session, Taxes, State Capitol

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie HARTFORD, CT — Legislative leaders might be voting as early as Wednesday on the first bipartisan budget package in a decade.

The House will be voting on a two-year, bipartisan budget agreement Thursday, according to a notice that was emailed to lawmakers early Tuesday morning. The Senate is expected to possibly vote on the package as early as Wednesday.

The details of exactly what they will be voting on were still being drafted, but the announcement comes after legislative leaders worked until 1:30 a.m. to balance the package.

Legislative leaders emerged from marathon talks Tuesday morning to announce they had tied up all the loose ends to reach an agreement that might need a veto-proof majority to get past Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s desk.

Democratic and Republican legislative leaders decided to negotiate a budget among themselves without the help of Gov. Malloy, who is expected to receive documents later today.

Late last week Malloy refused to meet with legislative leaders to discuss their progress on the budget until he was able to review a document.

Nonpartisan staff were drafting the last-minute changes to the budget.

The final document is expected to include a 45-cent increase in the cigarette tax and an increase in the hospital tax, but there were several areas of concern that legislative leaders refused to address until they are able to speak with their members.

Those areas of concern include what happens with the municipal property tax on motor vehicles, how much money is swept from clean energy funds and the Green Bank, and what happens with the Education Cost Sharing grant formula.

“For the first time in a decade, Democrats and Republicans have put together a truly bipartisan budget,” House Majority Leader Matt Ritter said. “Getting to this point took compromise from all sides. Speaker Aresimowicz and I will be reviewing the budget with our members, and I’m sure the House Minority Leader will be doing the same. Our goal is to get this done and move Connecticut forward.”

This morning, Senate Republican President Len Fasano tweeted: “Thank you to all legislative leaders for working together to discuss the issues we must tackle to move CT forward.”

House Republicans are expected to caucus at 3 p.m. and House Democrats are expected to caucus at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

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