HARTFORD – State Representatives Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), Joe Hoxha (R-78) and Sen. Martin (R-31) voted in favor of the state’s $51.1 billion biennium budget that honors the fiscal controls put into place by staying below the spending, bonding, and volatility caps.
One of the most notable inclusions in the biennium budget comes in the way of $800 million in tax relief over the biennium, something Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato, Rep. Hoxha, Sen. Martin and their Republican colleagues championed last spring. While Monday’s budget doesn’t reach the $1 billion in broad-based tax relief proposed by the representatives, it does contain the largest personal income tax cut in state history.
The budget not only provides broad-based tax relief for Connecticut residents, but is also locally focused on the needs of Bristol residents. As part of the spending package, Bristol Hospital is set to receive $7 million to assist in the hospital’s plan to maintain essential health services to local residents.
In addition to the allocation of a $50,000 grant to the Boys and Girls for operational support, the budget also includes a newly created ‘Fallen Hero’ account for families of a fallen officer killed in the line of duty, $5.4 million in property tax relief for veterans, phasing out the income tax exemption for pension & annuity income and individual retirement accounts, increases to the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families, increases to essential crisis intervention call responses provided by 211 and additional funding for homeless shelters.
“While the budget contained the expansion of policies, many of which my constituents would oppose, the benefits this budget provides to the Bristol community as a whole outweighs its negative aspects,” Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato said. No budget is perfect, but our bipartisan efforts paid off with tax relief that will offset at least some of the tax increases implemented by liberals over the past eight years.”
“When I ran for this office last year, my main promise was to be a strong unrelenting voice for small, blue-collar towns like Bristol and Plymouth. I, along with my colleagues worked really hard to make that message into a reality in this budget. I am proud to announce that Bristol hospital will receive the vital funding it needs to help keep hundreds of jobs and hundreds of patients from losing their current care,” said Rep. Joe Hoxha. “All while cutting taxes for working- and middle-class families in Bristol and Plymouth and potentially securing many more dollars in the very near future for vital infrastructure projects in the district! I am and will continue to be your voice. I stand here as proof that you can go to Hartford and not compromise your conservative principles and still be an effective legislator that advocates and delivers for their district what it deserves! And the people of the 78th deserve nothing but the very best, and the best is yet to come!”
“This budget, because of the fiscal restraints we have taken, and the steps Governor Lamont has taken to curb our borrowing and helps encourage economic growth here in our state. We recognize the need to invest in our workforce and our education system. This budget addresses increases in spending in areas where we need it the most. Whether through our local communities in the form of additional Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding or helping municipalities with their excess cost grant, we invest in our students. It also invests in apprenticeship programs which are critical for our economic growth and expanding workforce development,” Sen. Martin said.
After careful examination by Republicans to the hiring frequency of state agencies, it was determined that millions in allocations were made for state jobs that were never ultimately filled. As a result of this analysis, a real-world approach to forecasting future state employee staffing levels was used to find a $200 million reduction in spending.
The final tally when voted on in the House of Representatives was 139-12. The budget has also overwhelmingly passed the Senate 35-1. It now moves on to the governor’s desk for his signature.