As of July 1, there are a number of new laws that went into effect. I want to make you aware of this information as some of these new laws, including the budget, will add financial pressure on Connecticut residents and businesses.
The new two-year state budget will raise taxes by $1.75 billion and spending by 5.3 percent over the biennium. You will now pay more for prepared meals (restaurants and grocery stores), soda, safety apparel (bike helmets for your kids), ride-sharing services (Uber/Lyft), vehicle trade-ins, alcoholic beverages, parking, plastic bags, interior design services, dry cleaning, e-cigarettes, and digital downloads (Netflix), to name a few.
Small businesses will also pay more ($50 million over two years), and revenue originally set aside for the Special Transportation Fund (new car sales tax) will be diverted to the General Fund. Although Governor Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders continue their push for tolls to replace current transportation revenue, I will continue to oppose them because Hartford does not need to collect more money from the hardworking people of this state.
The majority party has also stretched repayments on teacher pension obligations from 2032 to 2046, which will add over $15 billion in liabilities that will fall on the shoulders of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Fortunately, some good did come out of this session. Below are some positive bills that I had the privilege of supporting:
PA 19-17: Extends workers' compensation benefits for certain mental or emotional impairments, mental health care for police officers and wellness training for police officers, parole officers and firefighters.
P.A. 19-36: Allows towns to increase property tax abatements for active and retired volunteer first responders from $1,000 to $1,500.
PA 19-191: Makes various changes to existing statutes to prevent and treat opioid abuse and addiction, including a requirement that pharmacists offer counseling to certain patients before or while dispensing their medication.
P.A. 19-13: Requires the Department of Labor and Board of Regents for Higher Education to establish pathways for individuals seeking a bachelor's degree through apprenticeships.
For a complete list of new laws visit: www.cga.ct.gov/asp/aearchives/20190701ActsEffective.asp
As always, never hesitate to reach out to me with questions, comments, concerns or ideas related to state government. I can be reached at Dave.Yaccarino@housegop.ct.gov or 800-842-1423. You can also follow my legislative activity on my website, RepYaccarino.com, and follow me on Facebook.
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