Posted on June 7, 2023
(HARTFORD) — 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 4.5% 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.
“I supported this budget today because I need to stand for what is best for all of my constituents,” said State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) following Tuesday’s early morning vote. “Although I support major income tax relief, expanding retirement benefits, and a commitment to a historic investment in our schools, like all bills, this is not a perfect budget. There are significant concerns that lie in the budget’s implementer portion, which is notorious for including very partisan legislation that failed in its relevant committee.”
Ackert added, “During the debate, I expressed my concerns with how this document redefines ‘trade’ apprenticeships to include other non-construction labor skills and forces them to adhere to a strict reporting process with the Department of Labor. Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle failed to completely support our apprenticeship and skilled labor programs by inserting this unreasonable reporting requirement and by removing a proposed tax credit incentive, which I supported earlier this year.”
Ackert concluded, “Apart from labor-related concerns, it is important to understand that this budget affects all Connecticut residents. The goal of the state budget agreement is to recognize as many financial needs as possible throughout a fiscal year, which often calls for political compromise. Today, I am grateful to Democratic leadership for recognizing and implementing some promising Republican-led proposals, the most important being a record income tax cut and more economic relief for our Connecticut residents.”
For more information on the state budget agreement, or any other state issue, please visit RepAckert.com or contact Rep. Tim Ackert at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.