Conn. House and Senate pass $19B budget

HARTFORD - (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers passed a revised$19 billion budget for 2010, minutes before the General Assembly'sadjournment deadline.

The one-year, tax-and-spending plan passed the House ofRepresentatives on a 93-57 and the Senate on a 19-16 vote. GovernorM. Jodi Rell is expected to sign the plan into law.

The 11th-hour agreement was negotiated between the GeneralAssembly's majority Democrats and the Republican governor in recentweeks and finalized yesterday (Wednesday), the final day of the2010 legislative session.

Legislative Republicans have criticized the budget, saying itrelies on short-term fixes and does nothing to streamline stategovernment.

The budget, originally passed in September as part of a two-yearplan, had a $2 billion hole. Proponents say they've balanced itwithout raising additional taxes or cutting state aid to cities andtowns.

To balance the budget, the compromise plan delays a second $100million payment to the state's employee pension fund, and relies onimproved state tax collections and anticipated federal economicstimulus funds. It also cuts $171 million in state spending, sweepsan energy conservation fund, and borrows nearly $1 billion.

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