OLYMPIA — The top Republican budget writer in the state Senate is retiring.
Ridgefield Sen. Joe Zarelli said in a statement Friday evening that he hopes he left state government better than how he found it. He says the last few years have been both wearing and rewarding.
Zarelli led a budget revolt in the state Senate this year the helped drive a major overhaul in some state policies, such as curtailing early retirement benefits and requiring new rules for balanced budgets. He has held the budget-leading role for the Senate Republicans since 2004.
Zarelli said there is more work needed to be done to get the state’s finances under control.
Republican state Rep. Ann Rivers is now campaigning to replace Zarelli along with Democratic candidate Ralph Schmidt.