Movement on major infrastructure and social policy bills, concerns over rising energy costs, and renewed mask mandates in parts of Connecticut are among the top business new items this morning.
The Senate has passed a compromise infrastructure bill of about $1 trillion in a 69-30 vote. The bill, which focuses on traditional infrastructure upgrades as well as initiatives such as climate resilience and broadband improvements, is likely to face further deliberations in the House of Representatives since many Democratic members there are pushing for the Senate to pass a separate $3.5 trillion bill on health, education, and other social policy initiatives before voting on the infrastructure legislation.
Senate Democrats approved the budget resolution on the $3.5 trillion measure in a 50-49 vote early Wednesday. The bill, which has uniform Republican opposition, would pay for its initiatives largely through higher taxes on corporations and wealthy citizens.
White House officials are voicing concerns about rising energy costs, saying they risk hindering the economic recovery in the United States. The administration is urging the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to restore petroleum production to pre-pandemic levels while also directing the Federal Trade Commission to address any anti-competitive domestic practices that might be contributing to higher costs.
The Centers for Disease Control has bumped New London County’s COVID-19 transmission risk rating from substantial to high. Hartford and New Haven Counties were moved into the high risk category last week.
Following Governor Ned Lamont’s executive order allowing municipalities to establish their own mask mandates for indoor public places, officials in Bridgeport, Hartford, and Stamford have taken this step. This step comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Connecticut exceed 200 following the spread of the Delta variant.