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Capitol Report

Posted on May 17, 2021


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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

With a month left of the legislative year, the House of Representatives will continue to hold in-person session days until we adjourn on June 9th. Affordability is a significant ongoing problem for Connecticut families, retirees, individuals and small businesses – something that I and my Republican colleagues have focused on, particularly while many are still dealing with financial disruption from the pandemic. Unfortunately, many of my friends and colleagues across the aisle do not prioritize the importance of this issue. During this session’s budget cycle, House and Senate Democrats proposed a plan which calls for a 5.5% increase in spending and $1.9 billion in new taxes over the next two years. The spending far exceeds Connecticut’s budgetary spending cap, so they created an off-budget revenue diversion account called the Equitable Investment Fund (EIF) to cover portions of the new spending with no direct legislative oversight.

Last Monday, I joined with my fellow House Republicans in questioning the constitutionality of the EIF.

Click here to read House Minority Leader Candelora’s letter to Attorney General Tong.

he fund would capture and direct nearly a $1 billion of the proposed new tax revenue to this off-budget account. By diverting tax revenue to the EIF, Democrats are circumventing budgetary spending caps and abdicating the legislature’s constitutional mandated budget-making authority; instead of the legislature’s oversight, the fund would be controlled by a committee of nine members, including only two elected officials.

Among the new taxes being proposed:

  • A new mileage tax on trucks which will increase prices of truck-transported goods
  • A new Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) gas tax in addition to existing gas taxes
  • A new 2% surcharge on capital gains
  • Cancellation of middle class property tax relief
  • New taxes related to gaming
  • Cancellation of tax relief for job creators by making permanent the 10% corporate tax surcharge
  • New “consumption tax” on higher income individuals

Connecticut is just beginning to recover from the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. Connecticut’s rainy day fund is projected to reach $4 billion and the current fiscal year is projected to reach a $250 million surplus. We need to put the needs of Connecticut families, retirees, individuals and small businesses ahead of growing the size of government through tax increases. House Republicans have put together policies and legislation to help our state’s residents through pandemic recovery and beyond:

House GOP Restart Connecticut Platform

Last Tuesday night, the House of Representatives voted along party lines to extend Governor Lamont’s emergency executive powers. This is the fourth extension of the governor’s powers and will go through July 20 instead of the original date of May 20.

However, unlike extensions of the past, Republicans successfully passed House Bill 5653 An Act Amending the Civil Preparedness and Public Health Emergency Statutes. As a co-sponsor of this bill, I believe there should be limits placed on those in power.

The Republican bill imposes:

  1. A temporary, alternative process to our existing emergency declaration statutes
  2. Requires the governor to follow the temporary process outlined in order to renew any COVID-related emergency declarations or executive orders
  3. Creates a bipartisan commission to study our emergency declaration statutes and make recommendations on how they should be permanently changed