Posted on January 10, 2020 by Greg MacKinnon
Each year, prior to the start of the legislative session, the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research compiles its “Major Issues” report. This report outlines various points of public policy that the legislature will likely act upon this year. I have highlighted some of the major issues below, with short explanations provided within OLR’s report. In addition to these items, I will be providing more information on some of my personal initiatives in the coming weeks, like new legislation I am working on to provide greater access to vital recovery resources for those battling opioid addiction. The entire report can be reviewed by clicking here.
- Tax Relief for Seniors – The legislature has explored proposals to reduce the overall tax burden on Connecticut’s older residents to encourage them to remain in the state during their retirement years. In 2020, the legislature may revisit additional proposals to expand tax relief for retirees, such as expanding eligibility for the state’s Circuit Breaker and Renters’ Rebate programs and providing state income tax deductions for long-term care insurance premiums.
- Bond Package – To date, the legislature has not yet enacted a biennial bond package for FYs 20-21. The lack of a new bond package and the governor’s preference for the lower use of bond funds have resulted in relatively low levels of bonding in 2019. Nevertheless, there continues to be pressure to provide the bond-funded state aid to municipalities, such as Town Aid Road (TAR) and the Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP).
- Quasi-public Agency Oversight – Following recent hearings on the Connecticut Port Authority’s spending practices and operations, the legislature may seek to expand the controls that the state has over quasi-public agencies. For example, it may reconsider proposals for more open and public process requirements to quasi-public agency contracts and prohibit activities under the ethics code to certain quasi-public agency consultants.
The 2020 session will convene on Wednesday, February 5th. If you have any questions about the upcoming session, or any of the issues referenced in the report, please contact me.