House Passes GOP Budget Plan

From left Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff Senate President Martin Looney House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter

From left Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff Senate President Martin Looney House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter

She called the budget "appalling", and said it could result in the closure of some campuses and much of UConn Health, the elimination of some majors, the end of some athletic programs, and more.

The Republican's state budget proposal passed in the Senate Friday afternoon, after three Democrats switched sides.

The plan, which includes no tax hikes and large spending cuts, passed the upper chamber Friday afternoon on a 21-15 vote.

The house speaker reacted to the GOP budget moving to the governor's desk after it passed the House.

Senate Democratic President Martin Looney of New Haven warned that passage of the Republican bill will add to the state's budget woes because Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has vowed to veto it.

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The package also includes an increase in the hospital tax.

Both plans are created to eliminate an estimated $3.5 billion deficit over two years.

Democrats hold a slim lead in the House, but six Democrats broke ranks and voted Republican on the two year, $40.7 billion spending plan.

Three moderate Democratic senators then announced they would not be voting for their party's version of the state budget, which contributed to a shift in majority support over to the GOP. "I'll move on with my life, but I honestly think we are at a crucial crossroads in the state of CT". "It sounds naive, but that's the bottom line". Representatives were in session until early Friday morning but went home without taking a vote.

"We can come back, take a break - people are exhausted - come back and work on a bipartisan budget", Doyle said, crowded by reporters in a scene that more closely resembled Capitol Hill. The Office of Broadband, which is part of the Office of Consumer Counsel, would be eliminated.

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The budget "appears to be a balanced and responsible compromise", Mr. Malloy said. "It relies on too many unrealistic savings, it contains enormous cuts to higher education, and it would violate existing state contracts with our employees, resulting in costly legal battles for years to come". The budget also would decrease the personal property tax exemption on state income tax forms, from $200 to $100, and set aside $115 million for improvements to the XL Center arena in Hartford. Three Senate Democrats got the Republicans to put a 10-point provision in their budget amendment created to do just that.

The plan before the legislature Thursday included a new tax on cellphones, reduced credits on the state income tax and higher tobacco taxes, officials said.

The state's annual budget is about $20 billion a year, and lawmakers have been grappling with how to close an estimated $3.5 billion budget deficit over the next two years. It would provide education funding to cities and towns at fiscal year 2017 levels and would not require municipalities to contribute to the teachers' pension fund, a source of revenue to the state favored by Malloy.

Larson noted that should the House adopt the package, and Malloy veto it, it would force the state to be run under the governor's executive order that brings massive municipal cuts.

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