June 9, 2021

Investing in Education, Towns, and Services – Without Raising Taxes

Senate gives final, bipartisan approval to two-year state budget

HARTFORD – State Senator Alex Kasser (D-Greenwich) today joined her colleagues in the state Senate to pass a bipartisan, two-year Democratic state budget that invests in education, cities and towns, and nonprofit social services without raising taxes. The budget remains well under the spending cap, and puts an extra $1 billion toward paying off Connecticut’s unfunded pension debt.

“I am so pleased that this budget not only avoids new taxes but addresses the most pressing fiscal and social issues in our state, issues like the unfunded pension liability – which is a noose around our neck – and education, which is the best investment we can make,” said Sen. Kasser. “I’m also proud that we significantly increased funding to our towns and cities. In my district, municipal funding will increase 27% next year and 33% the following year. In the three years I’ve been a state senator, I’ve worked hard to get Connecticut on to a path of economic growth and social progress and I believe we’ve achieved that. The future is bright for our state and finally, we can all feel proud and confident.”

With a billion-dollar year-end budget surplus, its Rainy Day Fund at historic highs, our state bond rating at its highest level in two decades, and state income tax and federal revenues swelling, Connecticut is well-positioned this year to make major investments in education, town aid, social services, health care, justice-related initiatives and workforce development programs, all while remaining under our statutory spending cap.

The approved budget will bring another $12,386,027 in state aid to Sen. Kasser’s Senate District towns of Greenwich, New Canaan and Stamford over the next two years for a total of $53.235 million – whopping year-over-year state grant increases of 27.1% and 33.49% compared to the current 2021 fiscal year.

Despite all of the state investments in a wide variety of necessary and popular public programs, the budget remains $22.2 million under the state-mandated spending cap in FY 22 and $35.7 million under the spending cap in FY 23, even while making an extra billion-dollar payment toward Connecticut’s unfunded pension debt.  

Among the many investments this state budget makes are:

Fiscal Responsibility 

  • This budget  keeps our promises to municipalities by fully funding the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) formula and provides over $525 million in additional funds to Connecticut cities and towns over the next two years. 
  • Because of Democratic fiscal policies, Connecticut reached the 15% threshold in our Rainy Day Fund, allowing us for the first time in 75 years to pay down our unfunded pension liability – with a payment of more than $1 billion.  
  • The budget increases the state Earned Income Tax Credit for working poor people from the current 23% of the federal income tax to 30.5%. That change will provide an additional $158 million overall to nearly 195,000 Connecticut households. 


  • Education Cost Sharing Grant – This budget keeps our promises related to local education funding and provides cities and towns with additional $130 million over the next two years.
  • Charter Schools – Provides funding to increase the per-pupil charter school grant and allow for grade growth within some charter schools in the state. This will provide parity between traditional public schools and public charter schools. 
  • Debt-Free Community College – Provides funding to fully implement debt-free community college and make higher education free and accessible to all students in Connecticut. Leverages federal dollars to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability.

Nonprofits & Nursing Homes  

  • Direct Support for Nonprofits – Provides $50 million to the non-profit providers of health and human services that contract with state agencies and provides an additional $30 million in FY 22 and FY 23 to these agencies. 
  • Increased Rates for Home Health, Nonprofits and Waiver Services Provider
  • Increases for Nursing Homes, Intermediate Care Facilities & Boarding Home

Justice & Equity

  • Community Reinvestment – Provides $14 million from the FY 21 surplus for community investment to fund a variety of initiatives focused on reducing violence, gun violence and providing support for Connecticut’s cities. 
  • Supports Survivors of Domestic Violence – Provides funding for staff positions to implement new domestic violence laws and for a grant program to provide legal representation to applicants for restraining orders.

  • Support for the Tourism Fund & Statewide Marketing Campaign- Provides $15 million in immediate support for statewide marketing efforts in FY 21.  

The Senate voted 31-4 to pass the state biennial budget for July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023. The budget, which has already been approved by the House of Representatives, now heads to Governor Ned Lamont, who is expected to sign it into law.