Governor proposing budget to General Assembly
Legislature now takes center stage
News and notes from around the State Capitol
News and notes from around the state

  • At noon on Wednesday of this week, before a largely friendly audience, Governor Ned Lamont introduced the first 2-year budget for his second term to a Joint Session of the General Assembly. 
  • The governor highlighted many of the items that he had been slowly rolling out in a lead-up to the mandatory delivery of a budget, but as always there were some items less visible in the budget proposal but designed to grab the attention of legislators. 
  • As our friend at the CT Mirror Keith Phaneuf notes, the budget that the Governor presented to the General Assembly was in total a $50.5 BILLION-dollar overall budget but includes some $500 million in tax cuts – highlighted by his call for a cut in the income tax cut for middle class filers. 
  • While we are pleased to see some form of tax cut for CT residents, we are disappointed that the governor didn’t make any changes to consumer taxes. He did not call for any changes in the sales tax overall nor did he call for any changes in the clothing exemption. 
  • His budget does keep intact the annual sales tax holiday. 
  • Here is a link to a backgrounder on the Governor’s legislative proposals. 


Legislature takes center stage

  • Former Governor Bill O’Neill used to take an annual vacation to Florida after he delivered his budget to the General Assembly because this round of work by the Governor is over. As former speaker Tom Ritter once said, “the governor proposes and the legislature disposes.” 
  • The Governor’s budget will now go under scrutiny by the General Assembly’s Finance and Appropriations committees. 
  • Those committees will begin their work today by having Office of Policy and Management Secretary Jeff Beckham give them a detailed presentation on the budget and take questions from members. 
  • Given the current state of the state’s finances, we would expect that the Governor’s budget would remain mostly intact.  
  • However, the General Assembly is likely to make some changes – and we will continue to push for some targeted consumer relief, overall, there should not be major revisions in the budget as it unfolds in the coming months. 


News and notes from around the State Capitol

  • With the Governor’s budget address now behind us, it’s as if the General Assembly reboots and the session begins again. 
  • The House and Senate were back in session on Thursday of this week. The primary reason was to work out the details of how the state will manage any surplus funds in the years ahead. 
  • In short, back in 2017 the General Assembly established some processes that determine how and where surplus funds can be used. In addition to a state constitutional spending cap, these so called “guardrails” were designed to protect those funds from over-eager legislators who may be tempted to spend those monies.
  • The guardrails expired this year and the General Assembly leadership and Governor Lamont had to agree on a new timetable. 
  • The CT Mirror looks in more detail here at those negotiations, which resulted in a new 10-year plan that could end after 5 years.
  • Gov.  Lamont has made workforce development a key issue, and his budget proposal sets aside $30 million in fiscal 2024 and $9 million in fiscal 2025 for workforce development initiatives.  Details reported by New Haven BIZ here.
  •  Connecticut’s popular, state-wide free school lunch program will extend through the academic year at a cost of $60 million, under a wide-ranging bill approved Thursday in the General Assembly.  Hearst CT Media’s Ken Dixon reports here.
  • Connecticut’s bottle deposit law is changing, but slowly, and not without bumps in the road.  CT Mirror reports on changes in the works here.


News and notes from around the state 

  • Consumers spent around $5.1 million on recreational cannabis during the first three weeks of Connecticut’s adult-use market, according to preliminary statistics released Friday by the state Consumer Protection Department.  CTNewsJunkie reports on the data here.
  • University of Connecticut President Radenka Maric told the state that without replacing the federal revenue that’s currently propping up the university’s budget the university won’t be able to cover salaries and will have to increase tuition 19% under Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget proposal.  CTNewsJunkie reports on the UConn President’s comments here.
  • Just weeks after LEGO announced it was headed from Enfield to Boston, the parent of ESPN on Thursday announced a corporate restructuring and 7,000 job cuts, but also reaffirmed its commitment to Bristol-based sports broadcast media giant as one of three business units within Disney.  Hartford Business Journal has the story here.