Connecticut lawmakers passed a bipartisan $51 billion budget last week which includes the largest ever middle-class tax cut, while boosting support for local school districts. The bill passed 139-12 and was signed into law by Governor Lamont on Tuesday.
“This budget will deliver the largest personal income tax cut in the state’s history,” said the Governor. Middle class households could save between $300 – $500 per year starting in 2024. Also, families earning less than $60,000 per year will see an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, about $210 annually.
Together, the tax-cutting measures will save residents more than $460 million per year, including more retiree income exempted from state tax, an extension of the car tax cap, and property tax credits for homeowners. Yet even with those tax breaks, lawmakers managed to close the books with an almost $3 billion surplus, second only to last year’s, the largest ever, at $4.3 billion.
As icing on the cake, the plan deposits $3.3 billion into our state rainy day fund, to cover shortfalls when times are tough, and helps maintain our high credit rating. Another $2 billion payment was made toward our unfunded pension liabilities, which will save the state millions annually in averted interest payments.
Help for school districts and childcare
Connecticut school districts have been struggling financially because their budgets have not kept pace with inflation, pandemic aid has run out, and teachers have been leaving their jobs.
So lawmakers also added $160 million to the Education Cost Sharing grant over the next two years, as well as an additional $25 million for special education. Greenwich will receive $1.5 million for the town’s public schools. Separately, they also added $16 million to pay for school lunches for children who need them.
The budget also addresses a shortage of childcare providers in Connecticut. Many have closed their doors because it’s hard to find employees willing to work for low prevailing wages. The budget includes $67.5 million to fund a rate increase for both licensed and unlicensed providers. The state’s continued growth depends in large part on workers being able to find care for their kids and this goes a long way toward that goal.
Support for police and gun safety
Lawmakers prioritized public safety as well. They included $35 million to improve state police recruitment, $7.5 million to remove toxic chemicals from firefighting equipment, and $22 million for gun violence prevention programs.
Overall, this biennial budget demonstrated Connecticut’s ability to deftly manage our tax dollars, delivering broad-based tax cuts, investing in education and workforce development, preserving the state’s high credit rating, and keeping our state growing.
Democratic recommendations for Town elections announced
On Wednesday, the nominating committee of the DTC announced its recommendations for municipal office in November’s election. The recommendations will be voted on at the July 20th meeting.
DTC Chairman Joe Angland responds to “false flag” planted by First Selectman Fred Camillo
June 10—The Greenwich Democrats are disappointed in First Selectman Fred Camillo’s wishy-washy response to the bigotry and slurs directed at our town’s LGBTQ neighbors.
The entire Board of Selectmen rightfully condemned the hateful signs that were placed around the Pride flag at Town Hall on June 4.
Then, in his newsletter on June 9, Camillo flip-flopped, stating, “Sometimes people can, and have, put up signs to make it look like someone else was responsible for something.”
What exactly is the First Selectman suggesting? Why would he assume that anyone other than bigots placed the offensive signs? This “false flag” tactic has come into increased use by right-wing extremists, who claimed, for example, that the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 was staged to make Trump supporters look bad. It is beneath our First Selectman to resort to such tactics.
Camillo also warned, “I want to caution people about making accusations online on social media thinking they’re sure they know who was responsible for this.”
Were it the job of the First Selectman to police social media, we would urge him to instead condemn the hateful comments directed at our LGBTQ neighbors that have appeared on social media over the last week.
We gathered last week to celebrate Pride – a joyous event that included parents, children, teachers, workers, religious and political leaders, and friends.
We call on first selectman Fred Camillo not to wobble in his defense of LGBTQ neighbors, and to clearly reject the genuine bigotry our LGBTQ neighbors have faced on social media and the Town Hall lawn.
For your calendar
Join the Board of Selectmen for the Juneteenth proclamation presentation in honor of the freedom gained by African Americans. June 19, noon.
Town Hall front steps. In case of rain, proceed to Town Hall Meeting Room. 101 Field Point Road
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A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody. Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
|Volume 1, Number 49 • June 15, 2023|
|Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.|
|Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836|