Budget Passes in the HouseJune 9, 2021
Today, my colleagues and I in the House of Representatives passed the biennium budget bill for the State of Connecticut.
My fellow House Democrats and I had one priority during these long past few weeks of budget negotiations: provide as much help to as many people as possible. I believe we have accomplished just that with this budget.
This is timely legislation as Connecticut recovers from the pandemic. The budget provides relief for businesses and hard-working families while keeping Connecticut fiscally sound.
Relief for Connecticut residents: People and families in Connecticut work hard every day to put food on the table, build their savings, and make a better life for themselves. My colleagues and I knew that working families deserved our support. Our budget reflects this by increasing the state’s earned income tax credit to 30.5% of the federal credit, providing thousands of families across Connecticut additional money in their pockets.
Relief for restaurant industry: Like many businesses, Connecticut restaurants have faced many hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why it was vital that we support them with targeted tax relief. Our budget allows restaurants and bars to keep 13.6% of the 7.35% sales tax they collect on sales of meals and beverages.
Relief for the entertainment industry: Similar to restaurants, popular entertainment venues such as theaters, concert venues, and amusement parks were unable to operate as they normally would. As life continues to get back to normal, we felt it was important to help entertainment venues get back on their feet, which is why we eliminated the admissions tax for these businesses.
No Tax Increases
I heard you loud and clear and rejected proposed tax increases on your property taxes, on the gas you need to get to work or drop your children off at school, and on certain homes.
Connecticut's Long-Term Financial Stability
As we have seen during the past year, it is crucial that our state is prepared to handle anything that comes our way. Our budget recognizes this by funding all major priorities without tapping into the historic $3.5 billion in Connecticut's Rainy-Day Fund.
Our Rainy-Day Fund not only allows us to maintain the flexibility we need to face unforeseen circumstances, but helps keep interest rates low on debt service. This increased stability is not going unnoticed, as it was a combination of these factors which helped Connecticut receive its first credit upgrade in two decades earlier this year. While our state still faces challenges, the demonstrated improvement in the long-term stability of our state finances is extremely encouraging and is the result of smart choices made across government in recent years.
I am proud of the hard work we put in to create a balanced budget that keeps our state moving forward with support for working- and middle-class families.