Connecticut Governor Signs Budget, Closing Deficit Without Hiking Tax Rates
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the state’s new spending plan this week, a plan that closes the $3.7 billion deficit he inherited when he took office in January without raising taxes.
“For years, instability in the state’s finances has resulted in slow growth and volatility in our economy,” Lamont said in a statement. “When the fiscal year closes, Connecticut will have the largest rainy day fund in history and this budget maintains and grows our reserves, providing reliability and predictability for our taxpayers, businesses, and those looking to invest in our state well into the future.”
In May, the governor negotiated a deal with the state’s hospitals to resolve outstanding litigation between the two entities, the tentative agreement is expected to result in billions of dollars of savings to taxpayers.
The budget Lamont signed increases workforce development and education funding, and does not reduce municipal funding for any town.
The budget keeps the state’s sales tax flat and does not increase the income tax. It also eliminates Connecticut’s $250 business entity tax. A 10 cent tax will be imposed on single use plastic bags (such as those found in grocery stores) for the next two years leading up to an outright ban on the product.
In addition to the budget, Lamont also signed a number of other measures this week.
One raised the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 and imposed a tax on e-cigarettes.
Additionally, Lamont signed three measures extending protections to LGBTQ identifying residents.
One of the measures allows minors to seek HIV treatments without parental consent, which could prevent the spread of HIV among sexually active minors who are not out to their parents.
Another measure bans the “gay panic defense” in criminal assaults, and yet another forms an “LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network.”
Lamont was surrounded by members of the LGBTQ community during the signing ceremony and said his desire is for Connecticut to stay at the forefront of preserving gay rights.
Lamont also signed a mental health bill into law. It mandates that Connecticut insurance providers submit reports on their coverage of mental health and substance abuse services.
The reports will be given annually and start in 2021. The goal is to increase transparency so that providers meet state and federal standards. The standards prevent providers from putting further restrictions on access to mental health services.
In The News
Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that the priorities and concerns of cities and counties across America are heard on Capitol Hill. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Former Local Elected Officials was formed... Read More
Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More
WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5. That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More