Great Progress This Year But More Needed

June 13, 2019

The 2019 legislative session has ended. We made great progress, but there is still more work to do.

A Note on the Budget:

As Co-Chair of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, I dedicated a significant amount of time to developing a state budget that strikes a necessary balance between meeting the service needs of the people of Connecticut while limiting the imposition of new sources of revenue. The House of Representatives and Senate passed a budget which is responsible, stable, and results in a Budget Reserve Fund that will be funded at historic levels. The budget makes significant investments in education, job growth, and economic development while holding the line on spending. The growth rate for fixed costs in the General Fund is 1.3% and for non-fixed costs is 0.03%.

Many who oppose this budget will focus on tax increases, but this budget also reduces and maintains tax reductions for both business and individual taxpayers. The budget we developed did reject a number of proposals to broaden the sales tax to services and other goods and products. The approved budget cuts the Admissions Tax at entertainment venues in half from 10% to 5% and provides a new tax credit for craft beer breweries to help grow this booming industry. The Business Entity Tax and Capital Stock Tax begin to be phased out as of January 2020, helping small businesses and encouraging start-ups.

A Law Working Towards Mental Health Parity:

I am also proud to announce that we unanimously passed HB 7125, An Act Concerning Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits. This bill, if signed into law, requires insurance companies to cover mental health and substance use disorder treatments at the same level as physical health treatments. The bill also requires insurance companies to submit documentation each March to the Insurance Commissioner certifying whether they are complying with parity.

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