Video | Lawmakers introduce budget proposal for next 2 years [Fox 61]

April 18, 2023

From Fox 61:


HARTFORD, Conn. — State lawmakers introduced their $51 billion budget proposal for the next two years, spending $400 million more than what Gov. Ned Lamont proposed in February.

Lawmakers on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee discussed their budget proposal for hours during a committee meeting Tuesday, going section by section and asking questions about various details and allotments.

“Every decision we make affects 3.6 million people in the state of Connecticut,” said ranking member state Rep. Tammy Nuccio, (R-Tolland).

This is the beginning of the legislature’s response to Lamont’s budget proposal two months ago.

“Everybody participated in this budget,” co-chair state Rep. Toni Walker, (D-New Haven) said. “There are nobody’s fingerprints that aren’t here.”

This budget proposes around $25 billion for the 2024 fiscal year – which starts in July – and $25.8 billion for the 2025 fiscal year. That’s an extra $37 million in 2024 and $374 million in 2025, which is about $400 million in additional spending over what the governor proposed.

“Where we begin to define the process of spending the people’s money,” ranking member state Sen. Eric Berthel, (R-Watertown) said Tuesday. “It’s not my money or your money, it’s all of our collective tax dollars at work.”

This budget focuses on funding Medicaid, health care, and education. It provides more money for education finance reform and new charter schools as well as $3 million to expand HUSKY Medicaid coverage for children up to 15 years old, regardless of immigration status.

“Does it have more needs? Yes,” added Walker. “There’s no question about it, if anybody said no I would be amazed.”

However, some advocates and lawmakers are upset about what is left out.

Notably, this budget doesn’t allocate any funding for free school lunches. In a statement, Lucy Nolan, policy director for End Hunger CT! and spokesperson for School Meals 4 All CT coalition, said,