HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — House Republicans in Connecticut unveiled their 2024-25 budget proposal Tuesday morning in Hartford.

Gov. Ned Lamont presented his two-year $50.5 billion budget plan in February. The Democrat touted his plan as the state’s first income tax in three decades and Connecticut’s biggest tax cut in history — half a billion dollars in income taxes.

Republicans, outnumbered by Democrats in the General Assembly, said that’s not enough, especially considering the current fiscal year is expected to end with more than a $1.5 billion surplus.

They’re aiming for $1.16 billion in total tax cuts.

“We left not only the actual caps intact, but we are honoring the spirit of those caps to get us back to fiscal health and begin returning the money back to the people,” said Rep. Vincent Candelora, a Republican who represents the 86th district.

Education is also a top priority, investing $290 million, including more than $50 million, to fully fund special education grants for the first time.

“It is the state of Connecticut’s constitutional obligation to provide a free and public education for every child in this state, and we have woefully underfunded education in the past years here,” said Rep. Tammy Nuccio from the 53rd district.

Among the House Republicans’ proposals is a new tax exemption for every child in the family.

“We are going to, for the first time, put into place a child tax exemption,” said Rep. Holly Cheeseman from the 37th district. “For every child you have, you will have a $2,000 deduction on your income tax. Connecticut is one of the few states that doesn’t involve family size in its tax code, so today we take the first step toward doing that.”

They also want a retroactive middle-class tax cut to phase out thresholds on retirement income taxes, do away with the truck highway tax and eliminate tax on kids’ clothing items under $100.

Lamont said the House Republicans’ plan is close to a bipartisan deal.

“It makes the negotiations a lot easier,” Lamont said Tuesday afternoon. ” I’m happy they are sort of mirroring what we want to do on the income tax.”

Republicans said they are also committed to fully funding transportation and education but want new accountability to cut wasteful spending.

Lawmakers must negotiate and finalize the budget by the June 7 deadline. The new fiscal year begins July 1.