Final Deal Reached On Budget, First Vote Planned Tuesday

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut House Speaker Matt Ritter announced Monday that an agreement has been reached with Gov. Ned Lamont on a new two-year state budget, which the House of Representatives will take up Tuesday morning.

Ritter, a Democrat from Hartford, said the deal with Lamont, also a Democrat, was finalized Sunday night.

“It sounds like all systems go,” said Ritter, who hopes some Republicans will also vote for the plan, which Democrats contend does not raise new taxes, yet makes major investments in education, health care, municipal aid, workforce development and rent relief and other programs, due in part to a historic amount of federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Lamont and Democratic lawmakers had announced Friday they were very close to reaching a “comprehensive understanding” on a new budget and planned to spend the weekend reviewing some remaining details.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, said on Friday he was uncertain whether members of the GOP, the minority party in the General Assembly, will support the bill. However, he said he was pleased that some ideas offered by Republicans have been incorporated in the proposal.

“So, there is good stuff,” he said. “Certainly we have to weigh the good with the bad.”

Recovery For All, a coalition of politically progressive groups, including unions and clergy, has voiced disappointment with the deal that legislative Democrats reached with Lamont, a former businessman who is considered more fiscally conservative. The coalition has argued this is an unprecedented opportunity to address long-standing racial and economic disparities, calling for higher taxes on the wealthy to help ensure there's a steady revenue stream after the federal aid runs out.