$19.01 billion budget signed into law

Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the state’s $19.01 billion budget Friday that avoids official tax hikes but does place a new surcharge on consumer’s electric bills.

The budget — passed Wednesday in the Senate 19-16 and the House 93-57 — also borrows nearly $1 billion, raids $100 million from the state workers’ pension fund and flat-lines town aid at $2.7 billion.

“This budget is not perfect – I would have preferred to see more cutting in state spending and greater reductions in the overall size and scope of state government. Yet this agreement closes major deficits and does so without raising taxes or transferring the burden to property taxpayers,” Rell said in a statement announcing she has signed the budget into law.

The budget was a compromise struck between the Democrat majority and Rell to close a $725.7 million deficit and an additional $1.3 billion spending gap for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

The new electric rate will cost CL&P customers $2.37 per month and $2.99 per month for those served by United Illuminating.

A $3.4 billion deficit remains for the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011.