The Democratic budget plan passed the State House of Representatives this afternoon by a tally of 91-48. It now heads to certain death at the point of Governor Rell’s veto pen.
The Democratic budget attempts to balance a budget that is in the red by as much as $8.5 billion by raising taxes by $2.5 billion and reducing spending by $1 billion.
Business groups have been highly critical of the Democratic budget deal, saying that it unfairly targets local businesses that are already struggling in the current economy. Andy Markowski, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said this:
“Higher corporate and income taxes will take a bite from businesses of all sizes, but it will be a much more damaging blow for small employers.”
Democrats have deflected this criticism, saying that their bill targets the rich and forces them to pay their fair share, without pointing out that this has been the Legislature’s rallying cry since 1991, and Connecticut’s employment growth since that time has been the worst in the nation.
There was a flurry of activity in the chamber before the vote when spunky Wolcott Democrat Corky Masurek offered an amendment that would have eliminated the state’s public financing system for political campaigns, the Citizens’ Election Program.
After a spirited debate, the amendment failed miserably.