State Capitol Update for the week of May 9th

May 9, 2022

Dear Friend,

This is my State Capitol update for the week of May 9th.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, click here.


It is very good to be back in the district with some summery weather this week.  That weather has been particularly important as it has enabled more in-person gatherings despite the uptick in infection rates throughout the state.  I have had a number of in-person events this week with people I know mostly from screens, and it is awfully rewarding to see people in person, and being able to do it outdoors is demonstrably safer.  With Litchfield County now in the “High” level of community infection per the CDC, masks are recommended indoors. 
Many of the events in the last week (both on screens and off) have focused on legislative wrap-ups, as we all figure out which of the many of the smaller bills we voted on in the House also successfully made it through the Senate, peppered with regular bill-signing events as our bills make their way to the Governor’s desk.  Some, like the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act (HB 5414) have large signing ceremonies, while others are quietly signed and enacted.  As these bills become law, I will provide you with those updates.
We are hoping to host the Governor next week to celebrate the $3 million bond funding for the soon-to-be-constructed Federally Qualified Health Center in North Canaan, which will be a big step forward in the availability of primary care in the northwest corner.
Here’s a list of today’s topics:
  • COVID-19 Weekly Update. Click Here
  • Vaccination clinic at Cornwall Town Hall on May 19. Click Here
  • The impending demise of Roe v. Wade. Click Here
  • Governor Lamont signs budget including more than $600 million in tax cuts. Click Here
  • Connecticut’s Transformative Budget: FY 2023 Budget Adjustment Summary. Click Here
  • Flags lowered to half-staff in remembrance of the one million American lives lost to COVID-19. Click Here
  • Access Health CT has new opportunity to enroll outside the Open Enrollment Period. Click Here
  • Providing information to Connecticut residents. Click Here

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit and click the link that is labeled, “Data Tracker.”

Vaccination clinic at Cornwall Town Hall on May 19

There will be a 12+ COVID Vaccination Clinic held at the Cornwall Town Hall on Thursday, May 19th, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m.  For boosters, must be at least 4 months from the last booster you received to be eligible. See CDC Guidelines for more information.


Governor Lamont signs budget including more than $600 million in tax cuts
This week Governor Lamont signed into law the fiscal year 2023 budget adjustment bill, which includes more than $600 million in tax cuts – the largest tax reduction in Connecticut’s history.

Tax cuts in the package include suspending Connecticut’s excise tax on gasoline through November 30, 2022; enacting a $250 per-child tax credit for lower and middle-earning families; funding payments for earned income tax credit eligible households; increasing the property tax credit from $200 to $300; and speeding up a plan to eliminate taxes on pensions and annuities. In addition, bus fares on all public buses statewide will continue to be suspended until December.
Notably, it also reduces property taxes on motor vehicles in 75 cities and towns by capping mill rates at 32.46 and reimbursing the municipalities for the lost revenue. For example, if a town has a mill rate of 50, motor vehicle owners will pay a rate of 32.46 and the state will reimburse that town for the remainder.
The legislation is House Bill 5506. It was approved with bipartisan support of legislators.

Connecticut’s Transformative Budget: FY 2023 Budget Adjustment Summary
Tax Cuts and Paying Down Our Long-Term Liabilities
  • Budget is bold, balanced, and bipartisan, providing the largest tax cut in state history of more than $600 million
  • Extended gas tax holiday, child tax credit of $250, EITC payment, car tax mill rate decrease, property tax credit increase, and pension and annuities exemption
  • Anticipate additional contributions to the pension funds this fall to exceed $3.3 billion
  • That is on top of transfers of more than $1.6 billion in total contributed last fall and in 2020 – over and above the amount the state is required to contribute
  • In total, approximately $5 billion in additional contributions to the teachers’ and state employees’ retirement systems
  • As a result of those transfers, required contributions to the funds will have been reduced by more than $430 million per year for 25 years compared to requirements had those extra contributions not been made
  • $40 million reduction in state UI taxes on employers

Investing in Our Children

  • Provides approximately $100 million in new investments in childcare
  • $25.3 million to increase the number of infant and toddler slots at state-funded childcare centers by 1,300 (over an 80% Increase)
  • Provides more than $83 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act investments for early childhood, including stabilization grants for school readiness providers, funding for Care 4 Kids, and investments in infrastructure
  • Provides $26.2 million to support the Sheff settlement to end more than 30 years of litigation
  • Expands state funding for special education by $15.5 million
  • More than $97 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding for various K-12 initiatives and organizations, including providing $30 million for additional free school meals over the next year, $28 million for mental health-related grants, and $11 million to subsidize magnet school tuition during this time of recovery

Cutting Crime

  • Support regional in-state strategies to reduce auto theft and violence
  • Promote safety on rural roads by stepping up speed enforcement
  • Fill federal funding gap to victim service providers
  • Expand services and supports for domestic violence victims
  • Invest in evidence-informed community violence intervention programs
  • Establish a community gun violence intervention and prevention program under the Department of Public Health
  • Provide a public health response to reducing homicides
  • Strengthen Project Longevity with resources to reduce group and gun violence
  • Increase law enforcement training on community relations, use of force, and new law and policy

Creating a Sustainable State Employee Workforce

  • The budget invests in protecting state services and retaining the valuable employees who provide those services
  • The agreement helps attract and retain talent by providing reasonable increases over a 3-year period, and provides recruitment and retention incentives, especially for hard-to-recruit, in-demand occupations
  • Increases are far less than the inflation rate, and the less than likely result had contracts gone to arbitration
  • Prevents the brain drain that would have occurred approaching the July 1 “retirement cliff”

Transportation Investments

  • Free bus service until December 1
  • Express train service to New York City
  • Federal infrastructure bill support to leverage billions in investments

Housing Investments

  • $50 million to support and invest in the creation of additional affordable housing across the state, including 350 new units of affordable housing
  • $5 million to support the homeless population, $1 million for homeless youth transitional housing, and $1 million for the Rental Assistance Program

Protecting Our Environment

  • $10 million in vouchers for commercial electric vehicles
  • $12.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to support outdoor recreation
  • Funding for environmentally-informed winter salt operations

Taking Care of Our Most Vulnerable Residents

  • 150 new slots in the Department of Social Services for the autism waiver
  • Recreational and community engagement opportunities in the Department of Developmental Services to facilitate socialization and connections for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Infrastructure improvements for public/privately-provided Department of Developmental Services camps
  • Unprecedented Private Provider COLAs, plus additional one-time stabilization funding
  • Support transition to acuity-based nursing home rates
  • Expand the capacity of Child Abuse Centers of Excellence for expert pediatric consultation and training on cases of suspected child maltreatment
  • Expanded Mobile Crisis–statewide 24/7 coverage and linkages with schools and police
  • Developed children’s behavioral health urgent crisis centers
  • $15 million for a new 12-bed psychiatric/medical unit at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Healthcare Investments

  • Support for Federally Qualified Health Centers to ensure immediate availability of long-acting reversible contraceptives
  • Increase Medicaid rates for family planning clinic services
  • Additional funding for early screening and detection of breast and cervical cancer
  • Increase Medicaid rates for mammograms
  • COVID-19 Preparedness: $157.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding for testing/kits and state agency expenses
  • $30.0 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to strengthen response to lead poisoning and achieve lead safe homes
  • Fully fund per capita formula grants to local and district departments of health


WATCH: CT CGA Year in Review

Flags lowered to half-staff in remembrance of the one million American lives lost to COVID-19
In accordance with a proclamation from President Joseph R. Biden, Governor Lamont directed flags to be lowered throughout the country as a mark of solemn respect for the one million American lives lost to COVID-19 – he is directing U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to fly at half-staff beginning immediately until sunset on Monday, May 16, 2022.

Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the U.S. flag, all other flags, including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise, should also be lowered during this same duration of time.
“Today, our country marks a heartbreaking milestone – one million American lives lost to COVID-19,” Governor Lamont said. “To everyone who lost a loved one – whether it be a mother, father, sibling, child, grandparent, friend, neighbor, or other loved one – I offer my deepest condolences and pray for each of them. I urge everyone to remain vigilant against this disease. Use the many tools that are widely available across our state to fight this virus. Get vaccinated, get boosted. Every day, we are reminded that we are all in this together, and like any large family, we must look out and care for one another.”

CT Mirror articles on healthcare issues affecting the Northwest Corner
CT Mirror reporter Katy Golvala has been writing a series of articles on healthcare issues of particular relevance for the Northwest Corner that I wanted to recommend.
The first focuses on a bill I worked on, the language from which ended up in the budget implementer.  It addresses the Certificate of Need (or CON) process that regulates hospitals and any material changes to the provision of services.  Specifically, the Office of Health Strategy (OHS), which runs the CON process, did not have a statutory definition of what constituted a termination of services (rather than a mere “suspension” as some hospitals claimed in order to avoid asking for permission to do it), so we changed that.


Access Health CT has new opportunity to enroll outside the Open Enrollment Period
Access Health CT just launched a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for residents with lower income.  To enroll, residents must have a household income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and be eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan with Premium Tax Credits. Please keep in mind that individuals who are eligible for HUSKY cannot use this Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan.
For more information, visit and click “2022 CAC Updates”.
Providing information to Connecticut residents
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, residents are encouraged to visit Residents can also subscribe to text message alerts from the state by texting the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance. Anyone who is out-of-state or requires a toll-free number can connect to Connecticut 2-1-1 by dialing 1-800-203-1234. This is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms are strongly urged to contact their medical provider.
It is my honor to represent our district. I look forward to hearing from you about the issues raised in this newsletter, or any other topics you think I should know about. You can email me at or call me at (860)-240-8585. Thanks for reading, and I wish you a safe weekend.