Celebrating Juneteenth

June 19, 2023

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Happy Juneteenth!
Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in our country. This important holiday was unknown to many for several years, but thanks to the tireless work of advocates, it is now rightfully recognized throughout the country. 

During the 2022 legislative session, several of my colleagues spoke passionately on the House floor about why Connecticut needed to make Juneteenth a legal state holiday. The bill received bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Lamont, and this is the first year it will be officially observed as a state holiday.

Contrary to popular belief, the practice of slavery did not immediately end after the conclusion of the Civil War. Some communities were not informed of the Union's victory until months after the fact. On June 19, 1865, 2 months after the Civil War ended, a group of Union soldiers traveled to Galveston, Texas and announced that all enslaved individuals were now free. They were among the last group of Americans to be notified of their freedom.
Although Juneteenth is a celebration, we must also take time to reflect on the horrors of slavery and how it impacts us to this day. As your state representative, I will continue to push for legislation that promotes equity and inclusivity.

CNA Week 
JUNE 15 - JUNE 21 is National Nursing Assistants Week! ⚕️

I want to take time today to send a big "THANK YOU!" to the 19.000+ hard-working CNAs in Connecticut who are out there crushing it every day—YOU ARE AMAZING! 

Income Tax Cut
📢 ICYMI! Yesterday, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law legislation enacting the fiscal years 2024 and 2025 biennial state budget (House Bill 6941), which contains several tax relief measures for Connecticut residents that includes the largest reduction in the income tax in state history. Learn more about the tax relief measures below:

✅ An income tax cut for the middle class that reduces the two lowest marginal rates. Specifically, the 3% rate on the first $10,000 earned by individuals and the first $20,000 by couples will decrease to 2%. The 5% rate on the next $40,000 earned by individuals and the next $80,000 by couples will decrease to 4.5%. These benefits will be capped at individual filers who earn $150,000 and couples who earn $300,000. It is estimated that one million tax filers will benefit from the rate cuts.

✅ An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers from the current rate of 30.5% of the federal credit to 40%. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable state income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families that mirrors the federal credit. This change will provide an additional $44.6 million in state tax credits to an estimated 211,000 low-income filers. This new 40% rate makes Connecticut among the top five states in the nation with the largest Earned Income Tax Credit rates.

✅ An expansion of existing exemptions on certain pension and annuity earnings to benefit seniors. Specifically, the budget eliminates the retirement income tax cliff by adding a phase-out for allowable pension and annuity and IRA distribution deductions against the personal income tax

Father's Day 
Wishing all of you dads out there a very happy Father's Day!🎈 

As always, if I can be of assistance to you and your family, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at the Capitol at 860-240-8585 or email me at Michelle.Cook@cga.ct.gov. Don't forget to like my Facebook page for news and legislative updates!


Michelle Cook


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