Posted on December 22, 2023
Several new laws will take effect January 1st that could have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I have highlighted some of them below. An expanded list of those that will take effect on January 1, along with summaries, can be accessed here.
The new year also brings the start of a new legislative session – the second year of the biennium which is known colloquially as the “short session” – which begins on February 7, 2024. Due to the truncated timeline of the short session, only bills that come directly from one of the legislative committees will make it to the full General Assembly. However, individual legislators are still able to introduce concepts, and I welcome your ideas and input on any state issue.
A summary of some new laws include:
The state budget, adopted in June, cuts the bottom two marginal income tax rates for all filers from 3% to 2% and from 5% to 4.5%. Income taxes on the first $50,000 in taxable income will be lowered for single filers and married people filing separately, $100,000 for joint filers, and $80,000 for heads of household. January 1 is also the start of easing the cliff on income tax exemptions for retirement income. The new budget adds a tax deduction schedule for retirement income above the full exemption threshold.
Several provisions of a comprehensive bill concerning resources and support services for residents with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) will take effect in the new calendar year. More businesses could be eligible for credits for hiring these, eager-to-work individuals. The Connecticut JOBSCT Tax Rebate Program will lower the threshold for hiring-businesses from 25 new full-time employees, to 15, and still retain eligibility for 50-percent income tax rebates for the new employees, if one employee has an intellectual disability.
The new law also requires annual reports from the Department of Social Services on the size of the waiting list for the Medicaid waiver program for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Public Act 23-137 also requires the state to create and acquire sensory kits for emergency services workers to give to autistic children and adults to help them during emergency encounters.
Every day, firefighters put their lives on the line to keep our community safe. Unfortunately, some of the risks they face can take years to develop, and some, like contact with or inhalation of hazardous materials, can be life threatening.
Now, municipalities are required to make annual contributions to the state’s firefighters cancer relief account, which is used to provide wage replacement benefits to eligible paid and volunteer firefighters diagnosed with cancer. Beginning January 1, 2024, towns will begin contributing $10 for each career or volunteer firefighter in their fire district or districts, by December 15 of each year.
We passed a bill last session to bring some safety measures to online dating. Under the new law, online dating companies will be required to have safety centers and reporting procedures to respond to unwanted behaviors, links to report sexual harassment, and safety advice for online dating, including alerts to romance scams.
The deposit cost for certain beverage containers will increase from $.05 to $.10 on January 1. Initially passed during the 2022 session with a phased roll out, the cost of deposits on (generally) hard cider, plant water or plant infused drink, juice or juice drink, tea, coffee, kombucha, sports or energy drinks, and any beverages identified as one of these products with letters, words, or symbols on their labels will increase.
Other major acts include:
Please feel free to share this information with anyone who may benefit from it.