Connecticut lawmakers set to break impasse, vote on budget

CT lawmakers say they’re ready to break an impasse over the state budget and vote on a new tax and spending plan.

The Hartford Courants reports ( ) Republicans sent their members home early Friday morning after saying Democrats hadn’t put together enough votes to pass the budget.

The budget deal includes a new tax on cellphone bills, at 49 cents a month per line.

The Senate announced that it will convene Friday, at Noon.

A 45-cents-per-pack jump in cigarette taxes and increases in other tobacco levies. Also gone is a tax increase on luxury home sales, although the state would for the first time collect a tax on “seasonal” homes. The state and teachers now pay the entire amount of retirement costs for teachers.

“It has been and remains the position of CCM and COST that towns and cities now have no control over teachers’ pensions, and until the system is studied and appropriate reforms enacted, shifting costs onto the property tax will have a devastating impact on communities all across Connecticut”, CCM Executive Director Joe DeLong and COST Executive Director Betsy Gara wrote in a joint statement.

“The Republican budget will never be signed by the governor – ever”, Ritter said.

Municipal leaders across the state have opposed shifting teacher pension costs to towns and cities.

Democrats and Governor Malloy had agreed to a new plan which included no increases in the state sales or income taxes, and hundreds of millions of dollars in spending cuts.

The House and Senate are expected to vote Thursday on a budget for the two fiscal years that began July 1.

As of 10 p.m. Thursday no vote has taken place in the House or Senate and no official, revised, budget documents have been released to the press.

Hartford, which is facing a budget deficit approaching $50 million, said last week it could file for bankruptcy unless the state gave it assistance. And while the Senate is split 18-18, the tie-breaking 37th vote is held by the Senate president, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, a Democrat.

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