Governor Lamont and Legislative Leaders: An Honest, Balanced Budget Is Priority Number One
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont met with legislative leaders yesterday, including Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, to discuss the timeline for the remainder of the 2019 legislative session. Agreeing that a fiscally responsible budget, approved in advance of the end of session was their top priority, the governor and legislative leaders agreed to prioritize a final budget and vote on it in both chambers by the end of next week. As such, the governor is proposing a special session exclusively focused on transportation and economic development.
“I’ve said time and time again that the most important work we can do is to stabilize our state’s economy and give businesses the confidence to stay and grow or relocate here,” Governor Lamont said. “Passing a fiscally responsible budget early is the first part of that equation. Doing so will allow mayors and first selectmen to know – for certain – what their budgets will look like for the next biennium and allow them to plan accordingly. The second part of the equation is to tackle our woefully under-resourced transportation infrastructure system. We know it’s slowing our economic growth and hampering our competitiveness. Let’s take the opportunity to do this – together, with Republicans and Democrats – in a way that provides the investments our state needs without overly burdening our own residents.”
In advance of the special session, Governor Lamont released the working draft of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment proposal, which his office and the co-chairs of the transportation committee have agreed to. The governor released the text of the amendment to ensure legislators and the residents of Connecticut have the ability to review and ask questions about the current proposal. Further, he’s directed Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti and his staff to make themselves available to answer any questions anyone might have. The governor believes the proposal is a solid foundation from which to build upon during the special session.
“I’ve also met with Republican leadership and I have invited them to the table in our special session,” Governor Lamont said. “They agree that the current state of our infrastructure system should not be a partisan problem, and I welcome and encourage their participation in this special session.”
“The Senate Democratic caucus remains committed to developing a responsible, long-term plan to invest in Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure and broad-based economic development,” Senator Looney said. “I want to thank Governor Lamont, Senator Leone, and Representative Lemar for their work on this major issue and I look forward to continuing this discussion in a special session. I am hopeful that a special session will allow for us to find a bipartisan solution to solving Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure problems and thereby promote economic development.”
“I’ve always said that fixing and modernizing our aging transportation infrastructure is critical to our future economy, which is why it continues to be a top priority of our business community,” Speaker Aresimowicz said. “The importance of this issue demands that we continue to work as long as needed to find the best way to move us forward as a state. A special session is never the preferred approach, but our responsibilities don’t go away with a date on the calendar.”