The 2022 legislative session has come to an end and I would like to include some of what we did in the House since our last update, including passing SB1 and SB2, both related to children's mental health, an issue close to my heart.
We mentioned the $600 million in tax cuts from the recently-passed budget last week but there is so much more in it that will benefit our district. We'll break some of that down here as well as provide quick access to all the legislation we passed this session.
Bills Passed in the House During 2022 Legislative Session
Please click on the image below for a complete list of all the bills we passed during the 2022 legislative session.
Passed in the House: SB1 and SB2, Related to Children's Mental, Physical, Behavioral Health
Both SB1, An Act Concerning Childhood Mental and Physical Health Services in Schools and SB2, AAC Expanding Preschool and Mental and Behavioral Services for Children passed in the House this week and will complement, nicely, HB5001, AAC Children's Mental Health, of which I was lead sponsor.
In what is being hailed as historic, HB5001 passed in both chambers unanimously, and is headed to Governor Lamont's desk. I am deeply thankful for the overwhelming support of this bill and would like to thank my colleagues for coming together on SB1 and SB2 as well.
Now is the time to address the many issues our youth were having prior to the pandemic, during and after.
Benefits of the Budget
We talked about the $600 million in tax cuts CT residents will receive as a result of the budget we passed in the House last week, but here's a closer look at more benefits of the budget.
Protecting our environment and addressing climate change are challenges that affect all of us. Prior to the start of the 2022 legislative session, I pledged to support policies that would help cut our carbon footprint, promote environmental justice, and protect the health of Connecticut residents.
Our state budget delivers on policies that, without a doubt, are steps forward to achieving our environmental goals, including better health outcomes for all residents.
Transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions have contributed to worsening air quality, leading to higher rates of illnesses like asthma.
Investing in our transportation sector and encouraging wide-scale electric vehicle distribution will greatly contribute to reducing these emissions and ultimately, improving air quality -
SB 4 invests in transitioning to electric and zero-emission state vehicles, school busses, transit buses, and much more.
Additional budget investments for a cleaner environment include:
New incentives for consumer and commercial electric vehicles
Establishing the Office of Aquatic Invasive Species
More sophisticated testing of shellfish
Repopulating native salmon and eel populations
New waste management programming
Increasing access to rebates and vouchers to buy electric vehicles through programs like CHEAPR
Equalizing the registration fee for electric vehicles with all other motor vehicles and establishing a voucher program for the purchase of electric bicycles
Reducing toxic air pollutants and setting emissions control measures help us, and future generations, breathe easier by bringing Connecticut to the level of other states that have strong clean air policies in place.
Children often are among the first to be impacted by social, economic, and healthcare disruptions. To help relieve parents, I voted to support the inclusion of a child tax payment in our state budget.
The child tax payment will provide parents with qualifying incomes a graduated personal income tax credit of up to $600 for up to three dependent children under the age of 16.
We also made other investments in children that include:
Increased funding for infant and toddler care programs
Increased pay to childcare workers to attract and retain more educators
An expansion of the successful Birth to Three Program
Assisting local childcare facilities with renovations
Our work this session focused on making our childcare system more resilient and supporting parents and guardians. Please share this information with parents you know and reach out if you have questions about any of these programs.
Every student in our state should have access to an education filled with opportunity that sets them up for success. The best investment we can make in our future is giving our schools the tools and resources they need today to help our students succeed tomorrow – and our state budget doubles down on the investment.
Our schools educate students of all backgrounds with different needs. We are fortunate to have incredibly talented educators in our state that have gone the extra mile, especially during the pandemic as they adapted to a rapidly changing educational landscape.
The budget will:
Increase local funding for special education
Expand minority teacher scholarships
Expand school choice opportunities
Stabilize funding for CT colleges and Universities
Double funding for bilingual education
Our schools are still rebounding from the pandemic, and this budget will ensure our students and educators have the supports they need to succeed.