Connecticut has a two-year, $46.7 billion budget and it passed for the first time in four years with bipartisan support.
“This budget sets a course for a strong, fiscally sound state government for the coming years and we did all of this in a bipartisan and collaborative way,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said.
The budget also creates a new way of distributing funding for cities and towns.
“This is a historical and transformative budget I believe that we have passed in 2021. It helps us address many needs that have not been adequately met,” Senate President Martin Looney said.
Republicans like that it didn’t include any new tax increases.
“We didn’t see tax increases on our residents. It was something that was important for Republicans,” House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said.
Republicans and Gov. Ned Lamont felt there was no need to increase taxes in a year when the state a record amount of federal revenue.
“I think one thing we all agree upon -- which is why this is a bipartisan budget -- is we want to do everything we can to make Connecticut more affordable for our working families and our middle class and that’s what this budget does,” Lamont said.
On its face it’s a $46.7 billion, two-year budget passed with bipartisan support, but buried in those numbers are hundreds of policy decisions like requiring a dozen towns with Native American mascots to forgo funding from the tribal gaming fund.
There are also sweeping voter registration laws. And now Connecticut high school graduates automatically get into one of Connecticut's four regional universities.
Lamont appreciates that it helps pay down $1.3 billion in long-term pension debt.
“For the first time in history were beginning to pay down that mortgage. That you refer to as that long-term pension obligation that we had,” Lamont said.
That will save future governors and legislatures about $100 million a year.
“The pension debt we’re paying down frees up real funds in our budget that can be used for the projects that we think are important,” Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-Niantic, said.