State Capitol Update For The Week of January 5

January 5, 2024

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Dear Friend,
Dear Friend,

This is my State Capitol update for the week of January 5.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, click on the play button to hear about the issues contained in this newsletter.


Happy New Year! This one feels like it's already off to a crazy and quick start (including the moment in today's video when Siri decided I was talking to her and joined the conversation).

I have spent a good chunk of time this week in Hartford, meeting with staff of all kinds to plan for the year ahead and for the session that begins in February. Last year we passed the biennium budget, so this year is supposed to be focused on budgetary tweaks that respond to changing fiscal circumstances or economic needs throughout the state. Last year's personal income tax cuts kicked in with the start of the year, and we plan to keep a steady course forward, but everyone defines "tweak" differently, so it pays to get ahead of the many requests which will be coming our way.

A less welcome start to the new year took the form of an emailed bomb threat which shut down CT's Capitol building and those of other legislative capitols throughout the country. It served yet another reminder of the dangerousness of the violent rhetoric heating up in anticipation of the 2024 election. This disruption was dealt with fairly quickly (there was no actual danger) but these threats are also create a lot of work for law enforcement and create fear and division which are costly in other ways.

I contrast that with the way we in the CT legislature continue to work together. I spent most of the day yesterday touring science and athletic buildings at UConn with a bipartisan group of legislators who serve on the Finance Committee with me. The political diversity was vast, but we all genuinely enjoyed seeing one another and spending the day together catching up on personal news and taking a deep dive into UConn's programs and facilities and their impact on the state.

I wanted to flag something that crossed my desk over the holidays, with data from 2017 to 2022 regarding median age. I note that in all but one town in the Northwest Corner, the median age declined. Read more about that here:

We have two local referenda occurring in the next week. The first is today (January 5) in Sharon, which is holding a referendum regarding the solar array at Sharon Center School. Voting is being held at Sharon Town Hall until 8pm this evening.

The second is on January 8 in all six towns of Region One (Salisbury, Sharon, Kent, Cornwall, North Canaan, and Falls Village). This referendum concerns spending on capitol improvements and renovations at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. Voting will be at each town from 6am to 8pm.

And, finally, we seem to have a snow storm brewing this weekend, from Saturday into Sunday, so please take care. As we all know, storms tend to hit the Northwest corner harder than other parts of the state. Should you experience outages in your area for power or gas, please see the below information from Eversource on how to report outages as well as information on how to prepare for the upcoming storm.

For additional information on storm preparedness, visit their site here.

Here’s a list of today’s topics:
  • CT Income Tax Changes Starting in 2024. Click here.
  • CT Nonprofit Security Grant Program is Now Open. Click here.
  • Regional School District 1 Referendum Information. Click here.
  • DOT Update for Cornwall. Click here
  • State Digital Equity Plan Draft Released. Click here
  • ARPA funding to help Low-Income Residents with Energy Bills. Click here.  
CT Income Taxes Changes starting in 2024
Three significant tax relief measures will take effect in Connecticut at the start of 2024, and among them are the largest income tax reduction ever enacted in state history, an increase in a tax credit targeting the lowest-income workers, and an expansion of exemptions on certain pension and annuity earnings to benefit seniors.
They are the result of the fiscal year 2024-2025 state budget that the Connecticut General Assembly approved and Governor Lamont signed into law this summer (Public Act 23-204).
For a break down of how your tax bracket will be affected, click here
Connecticut Nonprofit Security Grant Program is Now Open
The Connecticut Nonprofit Security Grant Program is now accepting a third round of applications through March 1, 2024. The grant program is administered by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
The State of Connecticut Nonprofit Security Grant Program (CT-NSGP) is a state funded competitive grant program that provides reimbursement to awarded nonprofit organizations for security infrastructure improvements.  Eligible applicants are 501(c) (3) organizations that are at heightened risk of being the target of a terrorist attack, hate crime, or violent act. Applications will be ranked and awarded based on the demonstrated need for security improvements.
For more information, please visit or contact DESPP.
Regional School District 1 Referendum Information

A referendum vote of the electors and citizens qualified to vote in town meetings of the Town of Kent, Connecticut will be held in the Town of Kent at the following polling place: Town of Kent Town Hall 41 Kent Green Blvd, Kent and simultaneously in the other Towns in the District on Monday, January 8, 2024, between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. pursuant to Section 10-56 of the General Statutes of Connecticut, Revision of 1958, as amended, upon a resolution adopted by the Regional Board of Education which will be placed on the ballot label as the following question:


Voters approving a resolution shall vote "Yes" and those opposing said resolution shall vote "No". 

Click here to read more. 

DOT Update for Cornwall 
CTDOT is removing hazardous trees along Route 45 from Brick School Road to the Route 7 Junction in Cornwall beginning on Tuesday, January 16 through Friday, February 9, 2024.
Motorists can expect alternating traffic on Route 45 from Brick School Road to the Route 7 Junction.  Traffic control signing patterns will guide motorists through the work zone. Traffic will be detoured onto Underhill Road to Riverside Road back to Underhill Road. The normal work schedule for this project is 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Monday - Friday.
Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions. Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving in this area.
State Digital Equity Plan Draft Released

The Connecticut Department of Administrative Services’ Commission for Educational Technology has released “Connecticut: Everyone Connected,” the state’s draft digital equity plan. Funding to support the plan comes from the Biden-Harris administration’s Internet for All Initiative, which was created as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will make the state eligible for implementation funds to expand Connecticut residents’ access to affordable, high-speed internet, devices, and training.

The draft plan – as well as executive summaries available in English and Spanish – have been published online at

This release begins a 30-day public comment period, during which residents can submit their feedback through that website, by emailing, or by calling the State Digital Equity comment line at 860-622-2032. All comments must be received by January 20, 2024. The commission will consider all feedback and make revisions to the plan before finalizing it by the end of March 2024.

The draft plan complements broader state, regional, and local strategic plans and will take place in close coordination with other broadband efforts, such as the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program overseen by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

To develop the plan over the past year, the commission has engaged more than 7,000 Connecticut residents and conducted in-depth research into the barriers to technology access. The draft plan will help ensure that all Connecticut residents can benefit from life in the digital world for learning, career advancement, telehealth, and leveraging state services. Consistent with federal guidance, the plan emphasizes the needs of traditionally disenfranchised groups, including residents at or below 150% of the poverty line, racial and ethnic minorities, the aging,

those incarcerated in or in transition out of state correctional facilities, individuals with disabilities or language barriers, those living in rural areas, and veterans.

Goals of the plan include:

  • Developing and promoting digital skills and technical support programs that directly serve residents;
  •  Ensuring residents have options for getting online that are affordable and meet their needs; and
  • Expanding digital government services at the state and local levels.

To download the draft plan and provide feedback, visit

$10.7 million in funds directed to help low-income residents lower energy bills

Governor Lamont has directed $10.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funding toward Connecticut’s energy efficiency programs that help provide weatherization, energy retrofits, and rebates to Connecticut residents.

Connecticut’s utility-administered efficiency programs, which are directed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)’s Conservation and Load Management (C&LM) Plan, have a demonstrated track record of reducing energy costs for Connecticut energy consumers and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, the programs – also known as the EnergizeCT programs – generated more than $62 million in savings for Connecticut residents and businesses. The energy-saving investments funded by the 2022-2024 C&LM plan are projected to provide more than $1.7 billion in cumulative benefits in the form of energy resource savings, energy bill savings, job creation and support, and reduced carbon emissions.

One of the state’s energy efficiency programs, Home Energy Solutions (HES), provides home energy audits and core weatherization measures, such as air and duct sealing. Through this program, certain income-qualified customers may even qualify for a no-cost energy assessment. There is increasing interest in these programs with the number of household energy assessments increasing by more than 80% over the last five years.

In addition to the transfer of ARPA and RGGI funds, DEEP is seeking authorization to provide further support to the state’s energy efficiency programs through the use of contract termination fees. The recent termination of the Park City Wind contract required the payment of a $16 million penalty by the project developer. DEEP and the Office of Consumer Counsel are requesting that the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) reconsider its prior decision and allocate the termination fee funds to Connecticut’s energy efficiency programs providing an additional, direct benefit to Connecticut residents and small businesses.

For more information:

  • Learn about DEEP’s Office of Affordable Housing Energy Retrofits: Office of Affordable Housing Energy Retrofits (
  • Learn about RGGI: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative RGGI (
  • Learn about Connecticut’s energy efficiency programs: EnergizeCT
It is my honor to represent our district. I look forward to hearing from you about the issues raised in this newsletter, or any other topics you think I should know about. You can email me at or call me at (860)-240-8585. Thanks for reading, and I wish you a safe weekend.

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Maria Horn
State Representative


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