CT House speaker optimistic about budget negotiations

Legislature budget negotiations are ongoing as Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on a budget on time, but House Speaker Jim Amann (D-Milford) says he believes negotiations will end soon.

Connecticut legislative leaders will resume budget talks Monday, after negotiations ended in a deadlock last week. They hope a two-year budget deal can be reached in the next few days.

Amann said the negotiations were down to the nitty-gritty before the regular General Assembly session ended last week. He said both sides remained apart by up to $150 million on a $30 billion budget.

Republican and Democrats still disagree on the state?s personal income tax. Some Democrats say they want a progressive tax, which they say will help create lower rates for lower and middle-income families, and higher rates for wealthier taxpayers. Governor Jodi Rell (R-CT) and Republican lawmakers say that is unnecessary because of the state's growing projected budget surpluses.

House Speaker Amann says lawmakers of both parties are trying to get over the last hurdle. "Hopefully we're gonna wrap this thing up soon, but for the most part we had a great session,? Amann said. Legislators also passed an energy bill, a health care bill and cleaned up an eminent domain bill.

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