Final state budget details being hammered out

Lawmakers continue work on state budget
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 1:10 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut lawmakers are getting close to voting on a state budget.

Final details were hammered out on Wednesday.

The 2-year budget is about $25 billion.

Lawmakers said it includes income tax cuts for middle- and low-income families, increased funding for non-profits, higher education, and public schools.

Connecticut will end the year with a $1.6 billion surplus.

The budget will not go over the constitutional spending cap.

500,000 Connecticut residents need services.

“Non-profits serve people with mental health and addiction needs, people with developmental Disabilities,” said Gian-Carl Casa with the CT Community Non-Profit Alliance

“I know it’s not the 7-percent which was the ask but we feel we have listened to them,” said Rep. Matt Ritter (D – House Speaker).

Ritter said over two years the increase for non-profits will be about 6-percent.

While Connecticut does have a record surplus, there are fiscal guardrails that restrict spending.

The good news is the state budget will include an income tax cut for middle- and low-income families.

In these final days, decisions still need to be made on legislation.

Governor Ned Lamont has several proposals to reduce gun violence, like strengthening the assault weapons ban, longer waiting period to buy a firearm, and raising the age to 21 to buy a long gun.

The house has passed a bill that includes red light cameras, which allows cities and towns to install them and collect fines. It now goes to the Senate.

“It’s a response to what everyone knows is true, we want to mitigate damage of those not driving responsibly,” said Rep. Jason Rojas (D - Majority Leader).

Republican leaders have concerns.

“We have our police force to enforce traffic safety and we are creating this overlay where town halls are going to issue traffic tickets, that’s weird to me,” said Rep. Vinnie Candelora (R-Minority Leader).

The gun proposals could be taken up Thursday. A budget vote will be sometime next week.

Lawmakers finalize state budget