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Senate passes state budget, heads to Gov. Lamont for approval

The budget passed 24-12 and includes $600 million worth of tax cuts.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut State Senate has passed their budget adjustment on a 24-12 vote before tomorrow's deadline. The $24 billion package includes $600 million worth of tax cuts and increases funding in certain areas.

"This budget is one that speaks to working families, it speaks to gas tax cuts until December, free bus rides. More investments in mental health, more investments in education. Cutting taxes for a critical number of areas," said senate majority leader State Sen. Bob Duff.

RELATED: State House passes budget bill; Senate vote next

Negotiated by Democrats and Governor Lamont, the bill also looks to provide a child tax credit of $250 dollars per child for up to three kids, boost the earned income tax credit, and expand the property tax credit.

However, Republicans in the senate argued more can be done. They proposed their own amendment to double the amount of tax relief Connecticut families would see by focusing on reducing certain taxes.

"What it is, is the state's largest tax cut for Connecticut families that's going to bring $1.2 billion worth of tax relief now. Not like the majority is promising with tax credits that you're going to get some time next year," said senate minority leader State Sen. Kevin Kelly.

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Proposals from both sides offer both temporary and permanent changes to cut taxes. In the House of Representatives, the bill passed along party lines.

"Well, it surprises me. It's one of the largest if not the largest tax cut in history but it's an election year and I guess they've got to be careful," said Lamont.

At 674 pages the budget is one of the largest items on the agenda but certainly not the only one.

RELATED: State Democratic lawmakers vow to protect abortion rights amid Supreme Court leak

Tuesday, the House passed a bill that would give lawmakers a pay raise for the first time in nearly 20 years. That's headed to the senate. The senate also still has to debate a juvenile crime bill, that looks to crack down on repeat offenders by giving judges more access to juvenile records and allowing the judicial system to track repeat offenders through GPS monitoring.

The senate did give final passage Tuesday to a bill concerning children's mental health, that would expand the availability of treatment services. That had unanimous support and now heads to the governor's desk.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at mmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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