Governor to review newly passed state budget - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Governor to review newly passed state budget

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Lawmakers discuss Thursday's passage of a state budget. (WFSB) Lawmakers discuss Thursday's passage of a state budget. (WFSB)

On day 119 without a state budget, all eyes are on the governor and what will be done with his pen.

A two-year roughly $41 billion plan cleared the state House of Representatives on Thursday in a 126 to 23 vote. It was passed by the state Senate hours before.

Republican House minority leader Rep. Themis Klarides said the deal is not perfect, but it "begins the process of getting our house in order."

"When you have to sit in a room and figure out if you can get enough in a document you believe moves the state forward and that's what we all did," Klarides said. 

Leaders reacted shortly after the passage of the state budget in the House and Senate.  

"What we did was a historic move in Connecticut politics," House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said. "Coming out with a bi-partisan budget and doing it under these extreme pressures is amazing."

The proposal now heads to Gov. Dannel Malloy's desk. Malloy vetoed the last proposal to make its way out of the legislature because of legal questions. This time, however, lawmakers said they appear to have enough votes to protect against a veto.

As for cities and towns, cuts are about 5 percent across the board. Although there is more money for needier municipalities. There is emergency assistance for Hartford to keep the city out of bankruptcy. It mandates an oversight board which will have to be in place soon.

There is a much-negotiated cap on spending and bonding. However, the budget relies on tax and fee hikes of roughly $500 million a year. It raises the cap on the car tax from 37 to 45 mills It raids more than $175 million from energy funds. There is a hospital tax and a 45 cent increase on cigarettes

The budget does cut deeply into the University of Connecticut. Although not as bad as what Republicans first proposed, the cuts equal $143 million over two years.

In an email to the UConn Foundation, which does all the fundraising, President Susan Herbst is warning of layoffs, a hiring freeze and reduced services. To read the full letter, click here

Stay with Eyewitness News for continuing coverage of the state's budget crisis.

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