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A number of new laws went into effect on July 1. Some of these new laws, including the budget, will add financial pressure on Connecticut residents and businesses.
The new two-year state budget will raise taxes by $1.75 billion and spending by 5.3 percent over the biennium. We will now pay more for prepared meals, soda, safety apparel, ride-sharing services, vehicle trade-ins, alcoholic beverages, parking, plastic bags, interior design services, dry cleaning, e-cigarettes, and digital downloads, to name a few.
Small businesses will pay more and revenue originally set aside for the Special Transportation Fund will be diverted to the General Fund. Although Governor Dannel Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders continue their push for tolls to replace current transportation revenue, I believe that Hartford doesn’t need to collect more money from the hardworking people of this state.
The majority party has stretched repayments on teacher pension obligations from 2032 to 2046, which will add more than $15 billion in liabilities that will fall on the shoulders of future generations.
Not everything this session was bad. Below are some positive bills that I supported:
PA 19-17: Extends workers’ compensation benefits for certain mental or emotional impairments, mental health care for police officers and wellness training for police officers, parole officers and firefighters.
P.A. 19-36: Increases property tax abatements for active and retired volunteer first responders from $1,000 to $1,500.
PA 19-191: Makes various changes to existing statutes to prevent and treat opioid abuse and addiction, including a requirement that pharmacists offer counseling to certain patients before or while dispensing their medication.
P.A. 19-13: Requires the Department of Labor and Board of Regents for Higher Education to establish pathways for individuals seeking a bachelor’s degree through apprenticeships.
State Representative Dave Yaccarino (R-87)
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