Sunday, July 14, 2024


House Gears for Overnight Debate on $37.6 Billion Budget

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

The House of Representatives was expected Sunday to adopt a $37.6 billion budget for the next two fiscal years that preserves municipal aid, meets a rising demand for social services, and shifts an unprecedented $6 billion out from the constitutional spending cap.

The budget bill 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.

The budget includes a major raid on the transportation fund, shifting its resources to general-fund expenditures, just as motorists prepare for one of the largest gasoline tax hikes in history. It also refinances operating debt from the last recession, spends over $220 million from the current year’s surplus and launches a new Keno lottery game.

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