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State police contract approved by legislature, signed by Lamont

The House approved the agreement by a vote of 142 to 1, and the Senate approved it by a vote of 35 to 1.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Wednesday, the state legislature approved a new four-year state police contract. The agreement passed the House in a 142 to 1 vote, and the Senate by a vote of 35 to 1.

"Starting off a new officer at a higher pay rate I think will hopefully get more candidates in the door at the outset, and hopefully through the process, not lose as many to attrition," said House Majority Leader Jason Rojas during a press conference before the votes Wednesday morning.

Gov. Ned Lamont thanked the members of the General Assembly for voting to approve the collective bargaining agreement he struck with the Connecticut State Police Union.

"The Connecticut State Police are among the finest members of law enforcement in the nation, and they deserve to be recognized for their integrity, commitment to service, and the sacrifices they and their families make," Lamont said in a statement. "This new contract provides financial and other incentives for the retention and recruitment of the best troopers and candidates. I am eternally grateful for the work the men and women of the Connecticut State Police do each day to keep our residents safe, exemplifying the highest professional standards. I thank the members of the General Assembly for their vote of approval on this agreement." 

The contract includes a boost for state police trainee pay, a $3,500 bonus, and 2.5% pay raises each year.

"This is a small step to get people more willing to do the job, but we need to make some significant policy decisions in this chamber, and soon, so that the officers that come forward are able to do the job," Rep. Greg Howard (R-Ledyard) said.

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Majority and minority leaders agree this is a great step to help the state police force, but many Republicans argue recruitment is about more than just increasing pay.

During Wednesday's floor debate, Sen. Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott) blamed recruitment issues on "the vilification of police" by the "far left."

He said the contract was not "fiscally sound" and would not solve recruitment, pointing to issues he claims stem from the 2020 Police Accountability bill.

"You want to fix recruitment? Let's repeal that bad policy so we don't have to bribe them to be on the job," Sampson said. He was the only vote against the contract in the Senate Wednesday.

This new contract starts retroactively from last July and will run through June 2026.

Emma Wulfhorst is a political reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at ewulfhorst@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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