New power structure of state legislature and governor’s potential agenda emerge

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Votes in the local State House races are still being counted, but it appears the Democrats will not get a supermajority, meaning Governor Ned Lamont is expected to be veto-proof.

In the State House, Democrats picked up seven seats. Republicans lost seven. The power structure is expected to be 98 to 53.

In the State Senate, Democrats picked up two seats. Republicans lost 2-seats. The power structure there is expected to be 24 to 12.

The power structure of the State Senate and House are clearly on the mind of Lamont.

“People are going to say, ‘Oh, my god. A supermajority,” Lamont said. “I just want people looking for solutions.”

A supermajority would mean a Lamont veto could have been overridden by his own party.
But the presumptive Democratic Speaker of the House said everyone needs to slow down.

“This idea you will have a legislature running amuck..we will not,” advised State Representative Matt Ritter, the current House Majority Leader.

Talk of what Lamont may put on his agenda during the remaining two years of his term run the gamut; from alternatives to tolls, recreational marijuana, gaming and a public option on healthcare.

Republican State Representative Vin Candelora, the current Deputy House Minority Leader, said, “It’s aggressive, but we need to figure out how we get out of pandemic.”

Republicans who lost ground in both chambers are not only focused on COVID but relief from it — especially aimed at the working class.

“Individuals who have suffered greatly through pandemic, they can’t afford new taxes whether it’s income or sales,” added Candelora.

Lamont faces a newly elected group of progressive Democrats who are okay raising taxes especially on the wealthy. And with a looming billion-dollar state budget deficit, insiders said some form of taxes are inevitable.

But the Governor was adamant.

“Look, I’m not gonna raise taxes if I don’t have to raise taxes. That’s for darn sure.”

“We have progressives, moderate members everything in between,” said Ritter. “We could have 98, 91…110…[members], we’re always gonna work in a bipartisan fashion as best we can.”

Leaders on both sides of the aisle will meet with new members over the next few days and decide what policies they can get behind and what they will fight. The 2021 Legislative session begins in February.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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