A Day in the Life

March 1, 2024

A Day in the Life
March 1, 2024

Life at the Capitol is full of unexpected twists, predictable tedium, long nights, and each new morning, the joy that comes with knowing we can make meaningful change.

Major Climate Change Bill

This week also saw the rollout of HB 5004, the Legislature’s ambitious omnibus bill to address climate change. I have the honor of leading this effort, which will have a public hearing on March 8. Read the bill HERE. (Warning: it’s very dense and technical!) Dubbed “The Green Monster” by the fossil fuel industry-backed Yankee Institute, this Connecticut Climate Protection Act is a reasoned response to the climate chaos we are all experiencing. Read an op-ed I wrote with my co-introducers HERE

Please consider testifying on this bill at the public hearing scheduled for March 8 at 11 a.m. CLICK HERE.

Webinars on Climate Action and Funding

I was a panelist at several webinars recently, including one with the Connecticut Sustainable Business Council and another with the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, where I presented with Congressman Joe Courtney. (Watch it HERE.)

Tax Reform

This week my colleagues and I held a press conference to call attention to the grossly inequitable tax formula in our state. As a legislator, I hear many complaints about our high taxes, but most people seem to blame the “freeloaders” on the economic rung below them, rather than looking at what is really to blame.

The fact is, the poor and middle class pay between three and five times more in taxes than the uber-wealthy do. (This is, of course, proportional to income; in other words, wealthy residents pay more in aggregate numbers, but low-income families bear a far greater burden as a proportion of their income.) A new report from the Dept. of Revenue Services (DRS) called the Tax Incidence Report shows this clearly. 

In doing these calculations, the DRS divided the state’s populations into deciles, or 10 equal sections. The chart (below) shows that the poorest 883,552 state residents, who make up the lowest decile, pay nearly 27% of their income as taxes. In comparison, the state’s wealthiest 478 individuals (who make up the highest income decile) pay just under 5 %.

That’s why I am a proud member of the Tax Equity Caucus of the General Assembly. I support a legislative proposal to add two new brackets — one for earners of $1 million or more; and one for $2 million or more — as well as a 4% Capital Gains surcharge on top earners. Until we make such reforms, the families least able to pay will continue to bear the greatest burden.

Tax Equity press conference at the Legislative Office Building 


On Wednesday, I joined with colleagues and Gov Lamont at a vigil for Nex Benedict, a young trans teen murdered in a violent hate crime in Oklahoma. It was an honor to stand among fellow government officials who fully recognize the rights of all members of the LGBTQ community. We vote with conscience and compassion so that our state never slides into the regressive and hateful policies exhibited by state governments such as that of Oklahoma, whose Legislature is currently considering a bill to ban all state agencies from acknowledging Pride Month or ever displaying rainbow Pride flags on state property.  

It was fitting that we gathered in front of The Genius of Connecticut statue, adorned as she is with oak leaves — a symbol of strength.

Vigil in memory of Nex Benedict

Public Health Hearings

This week also saw several lengthy public hearings, including two by the Public Health Committee, of which I am a member. We heard testimony from dozens of people on bills that address such topics as children’s hospice, emergency room overcrowding, telehealth, home health agencies, and improved opioid monitoring.

NEXT WEEK’s Public Hearings are listed on the General Assembly’s website: 

To see what bills are being considered, click on the name of the committee, then click “View Agenda.” As always, reach out to me at christine.palm@cga.ct.gov if you want help navigating the system.