House Narrowly Approves Budget With 0.4% Increase, Sends It To Governor
HARTFORD — The state House gave final legislative approval Friday night to a $19.76 billion budget that closes a projected $1 billion deficit by cutting programs and increasing overall spending by 0.4 percent over the current year.
The measure, which was passed Thursday night by the state Senate, was favored by most Democrats and strongly opposed by Republicans and state employee unions.
After a debate that lasted more than six hours, the bill passed 74-70 with eight conservative Democrats and all Republicans opposing it. The legislation now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who negotiated the deal with top legislators and is expected to sign the budget into law.
The Democrats that voted against the bill included John Hampton of Simsbury, David Alexander of Enfield, Brian Becker of West Hartford and Russ Morin of Wethersfield. One of the last to vote "no" was Cristin McCarthy Vahey, a freshman Democrat who faces a tough re-election battle in Fairfield and had been under pressure to vote "yes."