Sunday, July 14, 2024

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House Adopts $37.6 Billion Budget — Or Is It $44 Billion?

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

After an exhausting debate that began after midnight Sunday and wrapped at sunrise, the House of Representatives adopted a $37.6 billion, two-year budget that preserves municipal aid, meets a rising demand for social services, and shifts an unprecedented $6 billion out from the constitutional spending cap.

The Democrat-controlled House passed the budget 95-48 in a vote along party lines at 5:15 a.m.

The budget expands the education reform initiatives adopted last year while launching a major science and technology expansion plan at the University of Connecticut. It calls for expenditures of $18.6 billion in the fiscal year beginning July 1 and $19 billion the next.

If not for a dramatic new interpretation of how Medicaid spending is counted, the bottom line next fiscal year would fall just shy of $21.5 billion, representing a 6 percent hike in the state’s operating budget. In 2014-15, the total spending would be $22.5 billion, up another 4.6 percent. Over two years, the new budget would spend $44 billion, based on the current method for reporting Medicaid spending.

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