Lamont signs 2-year, $43 billion state budget into law
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday signed a two-year, $43 billion state budget into law, noting the plan was passed on time and puts the state “back on track” financially.
The Democratic governor OK’d the bill just days before the state’s new fiscal year begins on July 1.
“To me, it was very, very important that we get this budget done on time,” he said, adding how he heard that from local education and municipal officials that are planning their local budgets. “It’s a budget that I think gets us back on track, holds the line on spending, holds the line on taxes. It gives people a great deal of confidence they know what’s going on.”
Lamont also praised the plan for closing a projected $3.7 billion deficit, not increasing income tax rates and setting aside $2 billion in the budget reserve fund.
House Republicans, however, pointed out in a tweet Wednesday how the budget increases other taxes by nearly $2 billion over two years. While much of that increase includes a tax on hospitals, the document extends the sales tax to more goods and services, including dry cleaning and interior design services. It also imposes a new 1% tax on prepared foods and beverages.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, argued the budget has various issues, such as “unrealized union savings and artificially increased tax revenues” to claim the budget plan is balanced.
“This budget does not bring economic certainty to grow jobs,” she said, adding how it also “places more burdens on the hard-working men and women of Connecticut.”