CT State budget still in negotiation, less than two weeks in legislative session remain

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) –With less than two weeks in the legislative session a State Budget bill still has not been passed.

Negotiations are said to be winding down and sources tell News 8 the bill could be voted on next week.

Governor Ned Lamont said, “my perspective is we are going to get an honestly balanced budget – hopefully on time.”

The governor has said he is against broad base tax increases, especially an income tax hike on the wealthy.

The house speaker Matt Ritter says that was a red line for the administration. “He said I’m not going to go there. Until he shows wiggle room there…”

News 8 asked the governor on Thursday whether the transportation climate initiative, which adds a $.10 fee onto the price of gasoline over the next few years, was still on the table.

Lamont said, “that provides a little bit of resources so we can do environmental things and starting free bus service starting this weekend.”

In a press conference Friday about those free rides, the governor acknowledged the increase in gasoline prices again.

Governor Lamont said “the fee is an increase from wholesalers and they can choose to pass it on if they wish.”

The house minority leader tells News 8 his members are not in favor of any new taxes. Especially when the state has a surplus.

Vin Candelora says the administration has to be realistic. 

“If the governor is going to say don’t tax my wealthy friends in Greenwich then you shouldn’t be taxing middle class with a gas tax.”

News 8 has learned that the digital tax is out. A health insurance tax, otherwise known as the hit tax, is in.

The $46 billion two-year budget also includes a bonding package and a bonding infrastructure fund for cities.

Speaker Ritter is optimistic.  “If we can say if we can say were going to stick with the ECS formula that we agreed to in 2017 that’s pretty good. if husky A is expanded that’s pretty good there’s a lot of good stuff.”

The legislative session ends in 12 days.

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