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Budget plan: New cellphone tax, reduced tax credits

16 September 2017

"The budget approved by the Senate today includes much-needed long-term structural reforms and addresses the increasing costs of state government", CBIA President and CEO Joe Brennan said in a statement.

If the governor does veto the budget, lawmakers have until October 1 to get a budget signed or there will be another executive order.

A 10 percent charge on fantasy sports' companies gross receipts tied to CT patrons only would yield $500,000 in the first year of the new budget and $700,000 in the second. It now heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to fail.

Malloy supports a $41 billion proposal by Democrats.

The budget also includes $1.9 billion in education aid to cities and towns this year and would avoid large cuts to local education aid proposed by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as part of a spending plan that would take effect if lawmakers don't pass a budget by the end of the month.

"It relies on too many unrealistic savings, it contains vast cuts to higher education, and it would violate existing state contracts with our employees, resulting in costly legal battles for years to come", said Malloy, "if the responsible solution I negotiated with Democrats isn't going to pass, then it is incumbent on the legislature to reach a new agreement soon - one that is realistic and, ideally, bipartisan".

A broad-based sales tax increase and an enhanced sales tax on food and beverages sold by restaurants was scrapped in the negotiations Democratic legislative leaders had with Malloy.

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The three Democrats who jumped ship and started the defection, Sens.

In a likely harbinger of the hard times ahead, Looney and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said they were ambushed, noting that the dissenters had told them they were uncertain of their intentions, yet all had prepared remarks explaining their votes.

It's unclear when the GOP plan will receive a vote in the House.

The Republican plan relied on no tax hikes to close projected deficits totaling $3.5 billion across this fiscal year and next combined.

"This revenue plan, it's an admission we are desperate." said Sen.

Doyle said he made the decision Friday after reading budgets proposed by both sides.

Those new limits would reduce required pension payments by $119 million this fiscal year and by $151 million in 2018-19.

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The Democratic governor and the legislature have yet to approve a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, as well as the following fiscal year.

Many Democratic leaders, the governor and union leaders have questioned whether the state can make these changes unilaterally or whether that would violate collective bargaining rules.

As a prelude to action by the full General Assembly, the legislature's Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee narrowly endorsed revenue estimates Thursday afternoon that reflect higher tax rates on hospitals, hotel stays, cigarettes and other tobacco products, curtailment of income and sales tax credits, and a requirement that municipalities cover a portion of the annual contribution to the teachers' pension program.

Bronin asked for an additional $40 million this fiscal year while the GOP plan adds $7 million in Education Cost Sharing funds.

Some Democrats also object to the Republican budget because it reduces income tax credits for the working poor far more than the Democratic compromise plan does.

Communities would pay only the "normal cost", an actuarial term referring to the full amount that must be set aside annually to cover the future pensions of present-day teachers.

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Budget plan: New cellphone tax, reduced tax credits