Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

June 6, 2023


Tuesday, June 6, 2023


More Aid for Local Schools and Nonprofits Rounds Out Bipartisan Two-Year State Spending and Revenue Plan

HARTFORD – State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) today joined in the bipartisan Senate passage of a two-year state budget that includes a historic middle-class personal income tax cut while simultaneously providing towns more money for local schools as well as funding much-needed state social service programs.

The $51.1 billion biennial state budget passed the Senate today on a bipartisan vote of 35-1. The new state budget includes a total of $612 million in personal income and pension tax cuts while providing $232 million more in state aid to local school districts and hundreds of millions more for nonprofits to pay their employees higher wages.

“I like the middle-class tax relief in this budget and the $12 million extra for the Danbury public schools, as well as nearly a million dollars more in state aid for Danbury,” Sen. Kushner said. “But there’s no question that we need to find more resources for childcare, nonprofits, and our state universities.”

In the new state budget, Danbury will receive an extra $12,622,576 in state Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants over the next two years compared to what they are receiving now, and another $918,933 in other state aid such as Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), Local Capital Improvements (LOCIP), and Town Aid Roads (TAR) — equal to about .65 mils in local property taxes every year.

The budget passed today also includes the first personal income tax cut in Connecticut in nearly 30 years, and it’s focused on Connecticut’s broad middle class – those earning up to $100,000 a year – although all taxpayers will benefit to some extent.

The current 3% income tax rate on the first $10,000 earned by single filers and the $20,000 earned by couples will drop to 2%, and the 5% income tax rate imposed on the next $40,000 earned by singles and $80,000 earned by couples will drop to 4.5%. The income tax cuts are expected to save middle-class households $300 to $500 per year.

The new budget also expands the income tax credit for Connecticut’s working poor from 30.5% of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to 40%, helping approximately 200,000 Connecticut households.

The new budget also expands the income tax exemption for some pension and annuity earnings, expanding it to single filers making $75,000 – $100,000 and couples making $100,000 -$150,000.

On the spending side, local school districts are the winners, with many towns getting more state aid and no city or town being cut. The new budget provides $232 million more in Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants for Connecticut cities and towns, thereby helping to keep local property tax rates low. There’s also $16 million to continue expanded free school meals for children.

Private provider organizations that contract for state-sponsored social services (like aging, disability, corrections, housing, mental health and addiction, early childhood, etc.) will receive $87 million more in each year of the budget, providing 4% and 5.4% cost of living wage increases for their employees.

Other budget highlights include:

· $5 million for the Firefighters Fund for the firefighters cancer relief account to support program benefit expenses

· $3 million to expand HUSKY health care for children up to age 15, regardless of their immigration status

· $6 million to expand GPS monitoring of domestic violence offenders across the state

· $5.4 million to implement early voting initiatives

· Restores 100% of service on the New Haven train line and branch lines next year