Legislative and Local Updates - February 02

February 2, 2024

Hello Neighbors,

With less than a week from the 2024 Legislative Opening Day, I’m spending most of my time meeting with stakeholders to learn their priorities for the upcoming short session. This includes advocates, agencies, boards and constituents. We gavel in on February 7, and cast our final vote before midnight on May 8. With only three months between the beginning and the end we have our work cut out for us. Joint Committee work has already begun, and the Chairs of these committees are setting their priorities as we speak.

Along with Senators Maher and Kushner, I will be holding a meeting this Saturday to share some of the proposals we anticipate, as well as to listen to what some of your priorities may be. Please join us if you can – but if that’s not possible, I’ll be sure to share a summary with you next week.

Tax Cuts for 2024

As a result of fiscal responsibility and bipartisanship in 2023, I am pleased to announce that significant relief is on the way for many Connecticut taxpayers in 2024!

Three tax relief measures went into effect on January 1, including the largest income tax cut in state history, an increase in a tax credit aimed at the lowest-income workers, and an expansion of exemptions on certain pension and annuity earnings that will benefit the senior population.

Here's a closer look at the tax cuts, who specifically benefits, and how:

One million filers to benefit from income tax cuts:

The changes enacted in 2024 will see a decrease in the two lowest rates:

  • The 3% rate on the first $10,000 earned by single filers and the first $20,000 by joint filers will drop to 2%.
  • The 5% rate on the next $40,000 earned by single filers and the next $80,000 by joint filers will drop to 4.5%.

The relief targets middle-class tax filers and is capped at $150,000 for single filers and $300,000 for joint filers. This is the first time that rates have been reduced in the state since the mid-1990s and it represents the largest income tax cut enacted in state history.

For more information, single filers click here. For joint filers, click here.
Connecticut’s Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers becomes one of the largest in the U.S.:
The EITC in Connecticut is increasing from 30.5% to 40% of the federal EITC and will provide an additional $44.6 million in state tax credits to the approximately 211,000 low-income filers who receive the credit. More than 95 percent of filers who receive this credit are families with children.
The Connecticut EITC is a refundable state income tax credit for the lowest income working individuals and families that mirrors the federal EITC.

Expanding certain deductions for IRA distributions and pension and annuity earnings for seniors:

The state budget eliminates the retirement income tax cliff by adding a phase-out for allowable pension annuity and IRA distribution deductions against the personal income tax.

Approximately 200,000 filers benefit from the currently enacted retiree exemption limits. It is estimated that with these changes, an additional 100,000 filers could benefit from the elimination of the retirement cliff via the exemption phase-out.

I would like to thank all my colleagues for working diligently during the 2023 legislative session to help provide this tax relief for many of our hardest-working state residents. The three measures will reduce tax burdens on CT taxpayers by $460 million!
Black History Month Has Started!

February is Black History Month, a time when we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of individuals from the Black diaspora, as well as reckon with the systemic racism from our past that is still prevalent today. The theme for this year's month-long celebration is “African Americans and the Arts,” which spotlights Black Americans who excelled in various fields of creative expression, and the influence they have on our country's culture.

Connecticut was home to several notable moments in Black history. The Canterbury Female Boarding School, the first boarding school for young Black girls in the country, was in Canterbury. Abolitionist John Brown was born in Torrington. The 29th Colored Regiment, an all-Black regiment based out of Fair Haven during the Civil War, was one of the first units to enter Richmond, Virginia after it was abandoned by the Confederate Army. Click here to read more about Black history in our state.

Thanks to the tireless work of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and other colleagues in the General Assembly in 2019, Connecticut became the first state to require public schools to include Black and Latino history in their curriculums. Black history is American history, and this law ensures that the stories and triumphs of Black Americans will be taught throughout the school year.

I encourage you to take some time to celebrate and learn more about Black history, locally and throughout America. Connecticut is home to several organizations that honor and celebrate the Black experience, such as the Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American Museum in Stratford.

Click here to find more places that honor and support Black history and culture in our state.

Early Voting Starting in 2024

The power of your vote!

Connecticut overwhelmingly voted to make the election process easier and more accessible with early voting. Here are some important dates for this year:


📅 Early Voting: March 26, 27, 28, & 30, 2024


🗳️PRIMARY ELECTION: August 13, 2024

📅Early Voting: August 5-11, 2024


🗳️GENERAL ELECTION: November 5, 2024

📅 Early Voting: October 21 - November 3, 2024

Food System Capacity Building Grant Announced by CT Dept. of Agriculture

New grant announcement!

Eligible applicants include local food policy councils and/or food working groups, agricultural producers, food pantries, and farmers’ markets.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture will be hosting a Food System Capacity Building Grant Webinar on Thursday, February 8, 2024 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM. Learn more and register HERE.

Connecticut's Energy Assistance Program
Many of us struggle to keep our homes warm, so don't forget the great resource provided by the state of CT with its energy assistance program. 

If you want to know further details, see if you are eligible, or find out how to apply, click HERE

Ridgefield Restaurant Week
The Ridgefield Restaurant Week, intended to celebrate what the Ridgefield Press referenced as our "vibrant culinary scene," will be from February 5 to February 11. It features dozens of restaurants in our town.

This is a perfect opportunity to support our local community, one that is so rich and diverse in culture.

Read more from the Ridgefield Press.