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Adam Hushin / Connecticut Public Radio

Transparency related to a board tasked with overseeing a partnership between the state, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, and his wife is still an issue for lawmakers, even as that board gets together for the first time.

Lamont: Prepared Food Tax Hike Will Be Narrowed In Scope

Sep 17, 2019
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday he expects the new sales tax surcharge on prepared foods will be scaled back — and applied to a narrower range of items — before it takes effect on Oct. 1.

Senate Dems Say Tax Officials Inflated Prepared Foods Levy

Sep 17, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk and Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-Haven.
CT Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats backed away Monday from the new sales tax surcharge on prepared foods, saying Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration made it far broader in scope than lawmakers intended.

Lori Mack / CT Public Radio

After three years, the city of New Haven and the police union have finally reached a contract agreement.

Police union members on Friday overwhelmingly approved the contract by a vote of 259 to 13, after ongoing negotiations, and then a binding arbitration process. New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said part of the goal is to retain recruits and attract new police officers to the city. 

Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

Some state officials already have balked at the decision to exempt a public-private partnership investing millions of dollars in Connecticut’s struggling schools from disclosure and ethics laws.

But it turns out the first $20 million in public funds Gov. Ned Lamont and the legislature dedicated to this venture also won’t be subject to the new budgetary spending cap enacted just two years ago. 

Lamont: Conn Will Get Extra Income Tax Receipts Built Into New Budget

Jun 25, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and his budget director defended their decision Tuesday to build $180 million in extra income tax receipts into the new state budget, with Lamont offering assurances the money will flow as planned into the state’s coffers. 

Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

At midnight, the Connecticut General Assembly ended its regular session on time--and with a new two-year budget.

This hour, we look at what lawmakers accomplished and what’s still left on the table. Mark Pazniokas, Capitol Bureau Chief for the Connecticut Mirror, will join us with more.

The Wheelhouse: A Deep Dive Into The State Budget

Jun 5, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

With more than 24 hours to spare, the legislature's Democratic majorities on Tuesday evening delivered a two-year state budget to Gov. Ned Lamont. It doesn't raise income taxes on the rich, or deplete Connecticut's rainy day fund.

So then, just how does the $43.4 billion plan add up? And how were enough lawmakers brought on board to get it across the finish line?

A Tale Of Two Budgets: Senate Dems Back Plan Over GOP Objections

Jun 4, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

It was a tale of sharp contrasts Tuesday as the Senate gave final approval to a new $43.4 billion, two-year state budget. Majority Democrats hailed it as a historic plan that averts a big deficit without raising income tax rates, makes key investments in education and health care, and promotes long-term fiscal stability. But Republicans painted it as a sloppy blueprint that overtaxes businesses and consumers, spends and borrows recklessly, leaves Connecticut with no viable long-term transportation building program, and skirts the legal requirement of a balanced budget. 

From left, Rep. Livvy Floren, Rep, Vincent Candelora, and GOP staffer Pat O'Neil review documents as budget debate continues.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The House of Representatives approved a new state budget late Tuesday that averts a major projected deficit without increasing income tax rates, but does shift billions of dollars in pension debt onto the next generation of taxpayers.

Lawmakers Hope To Adopt Budget Monday That Avoids Another Income Tax Hike

Jun 3, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Legislators opened the session’s final week Monday expecting to pass a new state budget that keeps income tax rates flat, expands the sales tax and raises levies on prepared foods, e-cigarettes, plastic bags, alcoholic beverages and the sale of expensive houses. 

Budget Deal Struck, Doesn't Contain Tax Hike On Wealthy

May 30, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders announced a tentative, two-year $43 billion budget deal Thursday that does not contain the income tax hike on the wealthy sought by progressives in the General Assembly. Despite this, House Majority Leader Matt Ritter predicted that liberal Democrats would back the package. 

Lamont Leaves Tolls For Special Session

May 21, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont conceded Tuesday that the 2019 session of the General Assembly will end June 5 without a vote on highway tolls, recasting his focus for the final weeks to delivering a budget that will provide a reliable fiscal blueprint for Connecticut for the next two years.

Democratic Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and his fellow Democrats in the legislature appear to be headed for a showdown over taxing the rich to help solve Connecticut’s pension debt crisis.

Chion Wolf (File photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

For all the recent attention bestowed on Democratic Party progressives, there's new evidence so-called centrists aren't going to just fade away.

Not with former Vice President Joe Biden taking a commanding early lead over the many 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls running to his left. National polls released Tuesday cast Biden well ahead of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others vying for the party's nomination.

For Now, Legislators Defer To Lamont On Capital Gains

Apr 30, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

On spending and taxes, Democratic legislators took their lead Tuesday from the more moderate fiscal positions of Gov. Ned Lamont, less a surrender to the governor than a postponement of a debate still to come. 

Fonfara Rebels At Lamont's 'Debt Diet'

Apr 26, 2019
Chion Wolf (File photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

An influential Democratic state senator has sharply and creatively signaled his disagreement with Gov. Ned Lamont’s plan to place Connecticut on a debt diet by authoring a bill that would wrest control of the state’s access to credit markets from the executive branch and give it to lawmakers.

Matt Benoit / iStock/Thinkstock

The state's desperation for new revenue is certainly fueling this year's push to legalize marijuana.

But for many Democrats in the legislature, a larger goal is addressing racial injustices created by a crackdown on illegal drugs that has inordinately targeted non-whites.

Marc Nozell / Creative Commons

There are those who hope Joe Biden, as he weighs a 2020 presidential run, hasn't lost his touch for personal connections. There are others who wish he would.

A Connecticut resident is among the two women who came forward this week with complaints that the former Democratic vice president violated their personal space when greeting them at campaign events. Amy Lappos, a former staffer for U.S. Rep Jim Himes, says Biden pulled her toward him to rub noses. As it was happening, Lappos thought Biden intended to kiss her, she says.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont is leaning toward tolling of all vehicles in Connecticut, rather than concentrating on trucks as he said during the campaign.

Lamont's 'Debt Diet' Hits An Already Lean Nonprofit Safety Net

Mar 4, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont delivered his first budget address to the legislature on February 20, 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s private, nonprofit social services community has been struggling since the early 2000s with minimal growth in state funding for the vast array of programs it provides.

Checking In With Governor Ned Lamont

Mar 4, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It's been nearly two months since Ned Lamont was sworn in as Connecticut's 89th governor. 

Elements of his budget proposal, released last month, are being opposed by many segments of the state's population.

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Governor Ned Lamont has said he is open to negotiating almost everything in his budget proposal. Well, it seems like lots of people are going to take him up on his offer.

State legislators on opposite sides of the political spectrum are panning Lamont's plan to raise roughly $500 million a year by expanding the goods and services subject to the state's sales tax.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s some good news for local brewers in Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed biennium budget, which would cut the alcohol beverage tax on craft breweries in half.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont's proposed budget doesn’t include a plan to increase the state income tax to help cover a $3.7 billion projected budget deficit, and that has some watchers and stakeholders wondering about the state of income inequality in Connecticut.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

It was 1983. Toll booths in Connecticut had already experienced decades of problems like accidents and traffic jams.

And then, a truck slammed into a car waiting at the Stratford toll plaza on Interstate 95.

Dissecting Governor Lamont’s Budget Proposal

Feb 21, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont did a lot of asking Wednesday, as he promised he would.

A general plea for everyone to step up toward a budget solution is one thing. Specific requests, like the ones he made in his state budget address to lawmakers, will prove much more difficult to attain.

It May Be Bumpy, But Lamont Sees 'A Path Forward'

Feb 20, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont cast his first budget proposal Wednesday as “a path forward,” a map for a wealthy state struggling to wriggle free of a crushing pension debt amassed over decades, end crippling cycles of deficits and spark economic growth.

Lamont Presents $43 Billion, Two-Year Plan To Legislators

Feb 20, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont delivered his first budget address to the legislature on February 20, 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont proposed a $43 billion, two-year state budget Wednesday that establishes tolls, shifts more pension debt onto future taxpayers, deals another blow to hospitals, but also closes a multi-billion dollar shortfall without raising the income tax.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The honeymoon period is over for Gov. Ned Lamont. When he delivers his state budget address to lawmakers later on Wednesday, there will already be plenty of animosity among those watching.

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