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September 15, 2017

Trying again, lawmakers to meet this afternoon on state budget

PHOTO | Contributed Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano

After a grueling day of budget negotiations Thursday, Democratic lawmakers are hoping to vote on a new two-year spending plan today.

State senators are expected to meet to begin the voting process at noon, while the House of Representatives is expected to meet at 5 p.m., according to the legislative calendar and Senate Democratic Spokesman Lawrence Cook.

Getting Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s and Democratic lawmakers’ budget revisions completed for review contributed to the delayed vote on Thursday, Cook said. The compromise bill was finished and filed early Friday, he said.

“Now, the Senate members are going to receive and review copies and debate and vote on the budget later this afternoon, and If it passes the Senate, then it will be sent down to the House this evening for debate and a vote,” Cook said via email.

Budget negotiations between Malloy and Democrats last night included talks of new or higher taxes on seasonal homes, cell phones and fantasy sports gambling, as policymakers try to close a $3.6 billion deficit.

Hospitals also dropped their opposition to a tax intended to leverage increased Medicaid reimbursements, the largest single revenue increase.

Reached by phone, Senate GOP leader Len Fasano of North Haven said the Republicans also plan to have their own budget plan heard today, as they will call it as an amendment to any Democratic proposal.

“This process has been the worst process I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve ever seen, without any thoughts to the public,” he said. “This process has been an embarrassment to government, a charade.”

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