120th Connecticut House District
Committees: Environment; Finance, Revenue & Bonding; Transportation
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On early Tuesday morning, the Connecticut House of Representatives successfully passed the Biennial State Budget Agreement for Fiscal Year 2024-2025. Classified as House Bill 6941, the 832-page budget document was delivered to legislators’ desks at 3:00AM on Monday morning, giving representatives only a few hours to unpack all its details before casting their final vote.
The $51 billion budget, spent over the course of two years, adopted several aspects proposed by House Republicans since last spring. Arguably the most important of these is tax relief, decreasing the income tax from 5% to 4% and 3% to 2%, respectively, freezing the diesel tax, and eliminating the “retirement benefits cliff” by phasing out the income tax exemption for pension and annuity income and individual retirement accounts.
Aside from tax relief, other positive budget ingredients include a $150 million education statewide investment, a one-time bonus in funding to non-profits, a student loan reimbursement program for certain CT residents, and a Fallen Hero account that financially supports families of fallen law enforcement officers. More generally, the budget funds Family Resource Centers and school readiness programs, senior meal delivery services, supports resources for victims of domestic and violent crimes, all while abiding by the bipartisan fiscal guardrails that began in 2017.
We had a busy week, between voting on around 100+ bills left on our agenda, to finalizing the 800+ page state budget agreement, which is why I want to take a moment in this hectic time to thank those who matter most: the residents of Connecticut. With your participation in public hearings, contacting your state legislators, and making your voice known in our legislative surveys, I want to personally thank YOU for wanting to know more about state government and for your involvement in the legislative process.
Did you catch everything that happened in Hartford recently? From remembering our fallen military personnel during Memorial Day weekend, to recognizing our hardworking EMS professionals last week, the theme for the past two weeks is: Appreciation. Even though my fellow legislators don’t always agree on everything, I want to personally extend my appreciation to my colleagues, our dedicated staff, and all those who help us in the state legislature as session draws to a close on Wednesday, June 7th.
H.B. 5001: Support Services for People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities.
This expands employment opportunities, medical assistance programs, and a bill of rights for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. This will effectively create a support system as well as collaborate with public safety to protect and health institutions to provide the best protections and care for all individuals in this group.
S.B. 1165: Establishes Financial Literacy Programs in Schools
Requires financial literacy education in Connecticut public schools including banking, taxes, and other relevant financial areas.
H.B. 6558: Creates Tax Abatement for Certain First-Time Homebuyers
Allows municipalities to distribute an annual $500 tax abatement on property taxes for first-time homebuyers who obtain a loan through the CT Housing Finance Authority. This will alleviate financial burdens for first-time homebuyers, promote less reliance on crowded affordable housing units, while permitting towns to comply with 8-30g requirements without constructing new units.
H.B. 6599: Increasing Penalties on Intimate Partner and Domestic Violence
This bill will increase penalties on intimate partner and domestic violence offenders while also requiring the Department of Health to collaborate with law enforcement on sharing resources for victims and on preventative measures to avoid future domestic violence cases and reoccurrences.
H.B. 6796: Task Force to Combat Catalytic Converter Theft
It seems as if every day we hear of multiple incidents of catalytic converters being stolen across our state, especially in our district. This real threat requires more collaboration with our neighboring states and the creation of this task force will allow us to finalize bills to make it harder to profit off of this type of theft.
S.B. 634: Municipal Veterans Services.
Requires two veteran service officers (VSO) in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Advocacy and Assistance to be responsible for overseeing municipal compliance with veteran support programs and resources.
S.B. 3: Data Privacy and Safety Protection Expansion
In a time driven by technology and the Internet, this bill rightly establishes standards for sharing consumer information on social media, health applications and websites, and works with the CT Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to protect our youth online through implementing their recommendations from conducted studies and investigations.
Breaking Down the 2023 Republican Budget Proposal
As we expect to vote on the state budget in the coming days, I wanted to once again bring your attention to the responsible, balanced, and sustainable Republican State Budget Proposal that was unveiled last month! I encourage you to check out the video below on what ingredients I hope to see in the finalized budget, as the June 7th deadline draws closer! Don’t forget to explore www.CTHouseGOP.com/Tax-Relief-Budget for more information on our proposal.
Special Guests at the Capitol
It was wonderful to have Saint Mark School, right here in Stratford, visit the State Capitol last week!
Thank you to 4th Grade Teacher, Janet Rodriguez, the students, and all of the faculty at Saint Mark School who assure our community’s youth stay engaged with diverse ideas and interests! Keep up the great work!
It was great to see Kristen Record join us at the Capitol yesterday to receive an official state citation celebrating her induction into the National Teacher Hall of Fame!
Thank you for always serving and representing Stratford, positively impacting our youth in so many ways! Congratulations again!
As always, please never hesitate to reach out to me with your questions, ideas, and concerns about this or any state issue!
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State Rep. Laura Dancho
Connecticut House Republicans
300 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
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