Should we cut our state income tax by 1%?

Posted on April 25, 2022

Our state budget is projected to have a $2 billion surplus for the fiscal year ending June 2022. The surplus primarily results from the large federal grants received last year. The legislature and the administration have more than a few ideas to deal with this situation. Here are the details:

Is this surplus temporary or permanent? The current budget surplus results from a few different factors – first, the performance of stock markets and resultant capital gains. Second, large grants from the Federal

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Should CT expand Medicaid to undocumented immigrants?

Posted on April 18, 2022

The vast majority of Connecticut Human Services spending goes towards Medicaid, which in CT is called the Husky Health program. Here is how the program works and a critical bill we are discussing this year regarding the program.

Husky Program Basics: The Husky health program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and the State Legislature sets the underlying rules for the program. Each year the legislature debates and modifies various aspects of coverage of the Husky

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State Rep. Harry Arora: School funding, curriculum mandates, construction grants

Posted on April 11, 2022

Thank you to all who provided feedback on my last email regarding zoning bills advanced by the Housing and P&Z Committee. This week, I outline the key bills that the Education Committee has favorably reported to the General Assembly.

HB 5038, the administration’s  education bill modifies education grants formula amongst other provisions. The state provides school operating funding and construction grants to towns. The operating grants are based on an Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula, which allocates

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State Rep. Harry Arora: Should the state impose local zoning mandates?

Posted on April 4, 2022

Dear friends and neighbors,

There are four bills proposed in committees that deal with new statewide zoning rules and affordable housing mandates on towns. Legislators from big cities and housing advocates are the proponents. These bills face widespread opposition from many communities as they would result in high-density developments and congestion in quiet neighborhoods. Here is the status of these four bills.

HB 5429 imposes mandatory zoning of 15 units per acre in a half-mile area around

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State Rep. Harry Arora: Is a temporary gas tax cut enough?

Posted on March 25, 2022

Energy costs for CT consumers have been rising over the last year. High prices of gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, and power are creating hardship for Connecticut residents. Yesterday, we voted and passed a temporary cut in gasoline taxes of 25c per gallon from April to June. I believe this gas tax cut is an inadequate response to the crisis we face. We need a structural change in our energy policy. While I am skeptical of this short-term measure, I still prefer it over nothing and voted for it.

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State Rep. Harry Arora: State Capitol Update on 8-30g & State Taxes

Posted on March 8, 2022

The CT legislative session is underway, and there is robust debate in various committees and public hearings. Below are some bills which have seen significant public participation.

Study of affordable housing policies and reform of 8-30g: SB 169 proposes a study of current affordable housing legislation and reform of 8-30g. Developers use the 8-30g regulation to bypass local zoning and build multi-family high-rise units. I believe this regulation needs urgent reform. This reform is opposed by legislators

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State Rep. Harry Arora: CT Paid Family Leave benefits available NOW

Posted on February 16, 2022

The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers Connecticut workers the opportunity to take time to attend to personal and family health needs without worrying about lost income. The Paid Family Authority started operating in Jan 2021. Workers started paying into the fund in Jan 2021 and eligible CT workers can avail of benefits starting Jan 2022.
Here is how this program works:

Who pays for these benefits?
Employees contribute one-half of 1% (0.5%) of their pay, which is deducted from their

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State Rep. Harry Arora: School mask mandate: ON or OFF?

Posted on February 12, 2022

The Governor’s Emergency Orders expire on February 15, 2022. Last week, the Governor asked the legislature to extend various Executive Orders, including the one on school mask mandates. However on Monday he announced in a press conference that he would relax the school mask mandate. That dichotomy has created confusion, many are asking – is the mask mandate ON or OFF? Here are the exact details:

1. The Governor asked the legislature to extend 11 Executive orders to different end dates ranging from

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State Rep. Harry Arora – IMPORTANT: Register to participate in Emergency Orders public hearing

Posted on February 7, 2022

The Governor’s Emergency Orders expire on February 15, 2022. The Governor has asked legislative leaders to extend his emergency powers and pass legislation to codify some of his previous executive orders. The Governor has asked for codification of EO 9-1, which allows the Connecticut State Department of Education to require masks in schools, and EO 13, which enables DPH to impose mask mandates at their discretion. Click HERE to read the letter Gov. Lamont sent the legislative leadership.

The legislature

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State Rep. Harry Arora: Please Take My Short Survey on the Governor’s Emergency Powers and More

Posted on January 24, 2022

The Governor will convene the CT state legislature’s regular session on Feb 9th, 2022. Connecticut alternates between a short session in even-numbered years (like 2022) and a long session in odd-numbered years when we pass the biennial budget. Below are some of the important issues which will come up during this session. Please take this short survey to share your thoughts on Governor’s emergency powers and other issues.

Governor’s Emergency Powers:  The Governor has exercised emergency powers for

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