Lawmakers return to Capitol next week to fix budget

Lawmakers return to Capitol next week to fix budget

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HARTFORD — Lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week for a fix to the hospital tax after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy raised concerns about language in the budget to raise the tax.

Malloy also vetoed appropriations back to the hospitals, which are part of a plan that would actually result in both the state and hospitals seeing more revenue.

Malloy and the Connecticut Hospital Association have now reached an agreement to revise the language.

“We’re sort of like the judge in this – if they can come to a conclusion, reach a settlement, we’ll adopt it,” Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said.

The Senate is scheduled to return Tuesday, followed by a House vote Wednesday.

The $41.2-billion biennium budget that lawmakers adopted in late October raises the hospital tax from its current 6 percent up to 8 percent, resulting in the hospitals collectively paying $349 million more in taxes annually.

The state would repay the hospitals through supplemental reimbursements, then use the funding to leverage a larger Medicaid payment. The state would share that additional funding with the hospitals.

Malloy said the federal government wouldn’t approve the increase as written, but the budget would still require the state to make the supplemental payments to the hospital. He said the two problems would result in a total deficit of $1 billion over two years.

The legislature will also vote on a fix to reimbursements to municipalities to fund tax rebates for renters. The budget mandated towns pay the rebate and set aside $13 million, but didn’t include the necessary language to use the funds to reimburse towns.

Lawmakers also said they expect CTN to once again begin live broadcasts of legislative proceedings next week, meaning the public can view the two sessions. CTN’s first broadcast will actually be a Public Health Committee public hearing.

Fasano said some of CTN’s staff will work for the Office of Legislative Management to continue the broadcasts — CTN had been running reruns since its nonprofit parent, Connecticut Public Affairs Network, said it couldn’t come to terms with a new contract with OLM.


Twitter: @reporter_savino


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