Breaking Down the New State Budget

October 18, 2019

During this year’s legislative session, we saw the passage of substantial civil rights reforms and policies that benefit small businesses and workers statewide, all of which help to make Connecticut a better place to live.

With that said, one key issue that often comes up when I speak with constituents involves the biennial budget and what its contents mean for the bottom lines of Connecticut’s working families. I’ve been asked about what this massive document will do to property and income tax rates as well as social security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. I write this in an attempt to cut through the disinformation and deliver some basic facts.

Our $43 billion budget erases a $3.7 billion deficit and is set to bring our state’s Rainy Day Fund to a historic high. Once the Fund equals 15 percent of our operating budget, any additional surplus will go directly toward funding our Teacher’s Retirement Program.  The budget also achieves hundreds of millions of dollars in savings over the next decade through a successful re-amortization of pension liabilities that the Lamont administration reached with the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition. All of these efforts allow the state to better plan for the future.

Below you’ll find some of the ins and outs of the state budget and where to find additional resources at the town level.

Tax rates

In an effort to provide financial relief for our seniors, the CT budget phases in a tax exemption on pension income and maintains tax exemptions for social security income. We’ve also created a tax credit for employers who help their employees pay off student loans and for those who purchase zero-emission cars.

Business relief

My proposed legislation to eliminate the $250 Business Entity Tax, a yearly burden on our Main Street storefronts, successfully passed and was included in the state budget. Recognizing the benefits of our state’s growing craft-brewing industry, the budget provides a tax credit to craft beer breweries.

Programs and services

We maintain funding for the Care4Kids Program, reopen highway rest stops, and increase resources for Meals on Wheels. Our budget also protects the Medicare Savings Program and restores funding to the HUSKY A Medicaid Program for Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents. We’ve also established a LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, an initiative that I proposed.

Municipal budget breakdown

As a Representative elected on behalf of voters in four separate towns and cities—Bethel, Danbury, Redding, and Newtown—it’s important to note that each of these local governments have operating budgets of their own, which will mean different things depending on where you live. While I don’t have any legislative involvement in the municipal level, I wanted to provide links to resources for you to better understand how and where your tax dollars are being spent.

Bethel –

Bethel Homepage

Bethel Town Budget Interactive Graphic

Danbury –

Danbury Homepage

Redding –

Redding Homepage

2019-2020 Redding Selectmen's Budget

Redding Financials

Newtown –

Newtown Homepage

Newtown Budget Links

Additional articles

Bloomberg News –

Connecticut Closes a $3.7 Billion Deficit Without an Income Tax Hike

CT Mirror –

Lamont signs new budget, says it will bring fiscal stability to CT

CT News Junkie –

Early Budget Projections Show A Surplus

Middletown Press –

A Guide to the Taxes You’ll Pay in the New State Budget

NBC Connecticut –

Face the Facts: Gov. Lamont Signs State Budget Into Law