State budget, gun violence bill in focus with less than a week to go for this legislative session

State budget and gun violence action with less than a week left in the legislative session
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 7:49 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – There is less than a week to go in the legislative session and still a lot left to be done.

Lawmakers still need to vote on a state budget and Governor Ned Lamont is urging the Senate to take up the gun violence bill.

Group home workers are not happy with the state budget. They’ve been on strike for more than a week.

They want higher pay and say the $50 million in the budget isn’t enough and were ready to get arrested to make their point.

“I don’t think everyone goes away 100-percent happy that’s just the nature of where we are,” said Lamont.

Lamont said the budget is balanced, pays down debt, and helps create economic growth with the largest middle class tax cuts.

“I would say there’s been a lot more bipartisan cooperation in this budget. They’ve incorporated a lot of our proposals,” said Rep. Vinnie Candelora (R-Minority Leader).

The senate is taking up a bill that creates more transparency on how education dollars are spent.

Lamont’s gun safety proposals have passed the house on a bipartisan basis, and now it’s up to the Senate.  It has the most sweeping gun safety laws since Sandy Hook.

“The state’s constitution says every citizen has the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state but it doesn’t mean you can’t regulate access to firearms,” said Mike Lawlor, Criminal Justice Professor.

Thirty years ago, Connecticut became the third state in the country to ban assault weapons.

The new proposals include banning open carry, increased penalties for repeat offenders, requiring all ghost guns to be registered, and limiting handgun purchases to 3 a month.

Senate President Martin Looney remembers a lot of drama when the assault weapons ban passed in 1993.

“It was an 18-18 tie in the Senate and Lt. Governor Groark broke the tie,” Looney said.

While a debate is expected, Looney said there are enough votes in the Senate to pass Lamont’s gun proposals.

As for the budget, the governor said it’s pretty much done. The numbers need to be finalized and a vote is expected next week. The session ends Wednesday.