House Dems prepared to vote against budget
House Democrats said they will vote against the state?s proposed $5 billion budget unless cuts to services for the disabled are restored during floor debate this week.Democrats also said they want Republicans to cast an on-the-record vote to accept about $200 million in federal stimulus money. Last week, House Republicans said they would use that money to restore services for the disabled and other health-care agencies."We will not allow the Republican leadership in this state to balance the budget on the back of the most vulnerable," said House Minority Leader Harry Ott, D-Calhoun.Democrats said they will propose a number of amendments that would raise taxes in order to pay for education, health care and other programs. Democrats said they want to raise the state?s cigarette tax by more than the 30-cent-a-packe increase included in the House Ways and Means budget proposal.In addition, state Reps. Mike Anthony and Jackie Hayes said they plan to ask the House to raise the state sales tax by 1 percentage point, using the money to prevent a $104 million cut to education. Hayes said the amendment would also include an income tax credit but details still are being worked out.