General Assembly approves 2 bills in special session

(AP) - State legislators took a $300 million bite out of Connecticut?s budget deficit by passing a mid-year mitigation plan Monday. But officials say it

HARTFORD - (AP) - State legislators took a $300 million bite out of Connecticut?s budget deficit by passing a mid-year mitigation plan Monday. But officials say it won't be enough tomop up all of the state?s growing pool of red ink.

Legislative leaders say deeper state budget cuts are on thehorizon.

The plan approved Monday is based mostly on a proposal offeredlast month by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. It covers $300 million of thestate's budget deficit with an additional $157 million in federalMedicaid funds, a new tax amnesty program for delinquent statetaxpayers and nearly $72 million in spending cuts and delays.

A second bill is aimed at helping struggling cities and towns.

It will allow municipalities to join forces and make grouppurchases through the state's Department of Administrative Servicesto save money. It also would establish one-time local tax amnestyprograms, and provide protections for tenants living in foreclosedproperties.

The bills now go to Governor Rell for her signature or veto.

Despite their passage, the current fiscal year budget is stillexpected to be at least $250 million deficit. The next two fiscalyears are projected to be $6 billion in deficit.

GeneralAssembly passes bill to help Conn. towns

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