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Georgia Senate passes tax bill that snubs Delta; Malloy, Duff urge company to move to Connecticut

HARTFORD —  The Georgia’s Senate has approved a sweeping tax bill that snubs Delta Air Lines, following through on Republican vows to punish the company for cutting ties with the National Rifle Association.

Lawmakers voted 44-10 Thursday in favor of a tax proposal that had been stripped of a provision exempting jet fuel from sales taxes. Atlanta-based Delta would have been the prime beneficiary.

Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle vowed to kill the tax break after Delta announced it would longer offer discounted fares to NRA members. Cagle is running to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Nathan Deal, who criticized the controversy as an “unbecoming squabble” fueled by election-year posturing.

The House previously passed the tax bill with the jet fuel exemption intact. The chambers must negotiate a final version.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has praised the CEO of Delta Air Lines for no longer offering discounted rates to National Rifle Association members and has invited the company to move to his state.

The Democrat has been advocating for stronger gun control laws since a 2012 deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. His pitch Wednesday came after Georgia’s Republican lieutenant governor threatened to block the proposed sales tax exemption on jet fuel.

In a letter, Malloy commends Delta CEO Ed Bastian for his “courage in standing up to” the NRA following the recent Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Malloy describes Connecticut as a state where “we’ve put partisanship aside, and passed commonsense gun laws.”

Senator Bob Duff who represents Norwalk and Darien, posted a video message to Delta also urging them to move their business to Connecticut.