The General Assembly may have ended Connecticut’s longest budget impasse by negotiating and passing a two-year bipartisan compromise with a margin large enough to survive a potential gubernatorial veto. The Senate voted 33-3 to pass the budget plan just before 2 a.m. on Thursday, October 26. The House of Representatives followed with a vote of 126-23-2 later that afternoon.
The biennial bipartisan budget largely protects the vast majority of state education funding and municipal aid, but makes painful cuts in higher education and job training programs while raising taxes on the poor and working families in order to protect tax advantages for the wealthy.
Key provisions impacting working families include:
Requiring chamber votes on state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards.
Establishing an irrebuttable presumption that 15% of municipal fund balances cannot be considered for an arbitration award.
Increasing the prevailing wage threshold for new construction from $400K to $1M and requiring DECD projects over $1M to pay prevailing rate, but exempting a construction project in House Minority Leader Klarides’ district.
Slashing higher education funding and workforce training programs.
Cuts the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that benefits the working poor while reducing the estate and gift tax that benefits the wealthy.
Increasing teachers’ pension contributions 1% and reducing the corresponding amount the state pays into the teacher pension fund.
Cutting the state’s share of teacher retiree healthcare and freezing the income tax exemption on teacher pension income.
Establishing a $2 billion annual bonding cap and tightens the state spending cap.
Limiting the $200 property tax credit to the elderly and households with dependents.
Limiting cuts to education funding and provides additional dollars to the lowestperforming districts.
Providing up to $40M in supplemental funding and state oversight to the City of Hartford to avert bankruptcy.