James Maroney


James Maroney



June 9, 2021

Investing in Education, Towns, and Nonprofits – With No Tax Hikes

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

HARTFORD – State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) joined his colleagues in the state Senate to pass a bipartisan, two-year Democratic state budget that invests in education, cities and towns, and nonprofit social service providers while not raising taxes, remaining well under the state spending cap, and putting an extra $1 billion toward paying off Connecticut’s historic unfunded pension debt.

The Senate voted 31-4 to pass House Bill 6689, the state biennial budget for July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023. The budget, which had previously been approved by the House of Representatives, now heads to Governor Ned Lamont, who is expected to sign it into law.

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 the while remaining under our statutory spending cap.

“I am proud to have supported this budget,” said Sen. Maroney. “This budget continues to invest in education and workforce development. Education is the key to success and implementing programs that inspire and help to educate our youth puts each student on a successful path. This budget makes payments towards our unfunded pension liabilities and does not raise taxes. Connecticut’s fiscal ship continues to get righted.”

The two-year General Fund budget totals $42.46 billion: $20.8 billion in FY 22, and $21.66 billion in FY 23. The budget including all nine special funds (i.e. the Special Transportation, Banking, Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and other funds) totals $46.36 billion, which is a year-over-year 2.6% spending increase in FY 22 and a 3.9% spending increase in FY 23.

In Senator Maroney’s district, over $219 million is being allocated across Milford, Orange, Woodbridge, and West Haven between FY 2021 through FY 2023. The four towns in the 14th district will receive over $74 million next year (Fiscal Year 22) and over $75.5 million the year after for a total of over $149.5 million. Every town in the district will see an increase in state funding with an increase of $4.8 million next year and $6.1 million the year after.

Milford is being appropriated over $11.6 million in FY 21, over $11.9 million in FY 22, and over $11.9 million in FY 23. Part of this includes Milford receiving a municipal stabilization grant of $1,30,086 for FY 22 and $1,130,086 for FY 23 and a grant of $236,690 for FY 22 and $236,690 for FY 23. The Milford Boys & Girls Club Workforce Development has an investment of $50 thousand for FY 22 and $50 thousand for FY 23.

Orange is being appropriated over $1.4 million in FY 21, over $1.5 million in FY 22, and over $90 thousand in FY 23. Part of this includes Orange receiving a municipal stabilization grant of $221,467 for FY 22 and $221,467 for FY 23 and a grant of $6,408 for FY 22 and $6,408 for FY 23.

Woodbridge is being appropriated over $592 thousand in FY 21, over $607 thousand in FY 22, and over $607 thousand in FY 23. Part of this includes Woodbridge receiving a municipal stabilization grant of $120,477 for FY 22 and $120,477 for FY 23.

West Haven is being appropriated over $55.6 million in FY21, over $60 million in FY22, and over $61.4 million in FY 23. Part of this includes receiving a grant for $807,097 for FY 22 and $807,097 for FY 23. The West Haven Veterans Museum is being allocated $25,000 for FY 22 and $25,000 for FY 23. The following amounts are being appropriated toward organizations for the Youth Violence Initiative:

  • $25,000 – West Haven Youth Services for FY 22 & FY 23
  • $25,000 – West Haven Seahawks for FY 22 and FY 23
  • $15,000 – West Haven Youth Prevention Council for FY 22 & FY 23
  • $10,000 – Westies Win for FY 22 & FY 23
  • $2,000 – West Haven Elks Drug Program for FY 22 & FY 23
  • $3,000 – West Haven Rotary for FY 22 & FY 23

Senator Maroney is thrilled that a program he created in 2019 will receive funding. The Military to Machinist Program will be appropriated $250 thousand per year. This program establishes certain job training programs to assist veterans with the skills needed to obtain jobs in advanced manufacturing and other related positions. With this budget, Veterans who will be in need of a job will have the help and resources available to them.

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 sending 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, which has built up over the past 70 years.

The state budget relies on $2.28 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding over the biennium: $1.271 billion in FY 22, and $1.01 billion in FY 23; Connecticut received a total of $2.6 billion in ARPA funds, leaving about $400 million unallocated.

Among the many investments this state budget makes are:

Fiscal Responsibility

  • This budget recognizes the structural and systemic inequities experienced by our major cities – many of which have over 50 percent of their property as non-taxable – and keeps our promises to municipalities by fully funding the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) formula that was championed by Senate President Martin Looney and passed earlier this session. This budget will provide over $525 million in additional funds to Connecticut cities and towns over the next two years through a combination increased PILOT and Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants.
  • Because of Democratic fiscal policies, in 2020 Connecticut finished its fiscal year with a surplus and reached the 15% threshold in our Rainy Day Fund, allowing us for the first time in 75 years to make a bulk payment of $63 million toward our unfunded pension liability. This fiscal prudence will also result in a budget volatility cap transfer of more than $1 billion at the end FY 21 to pay down our unfunded pension liability.
  • 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 tax credit change will provide an additional $40 million in income – $158 million overall – to nearly 195,000 Connecticut households.

By the Numbers

  • Overall- The Appropriations Committee budget includes appropriations in nine funds totaling $22.7 billion in FY 22 and $23.6 billion in FY 23
  • Spending Cap – The amendment is under the spending cap by $22.2 million in FY 22 and $35.7 million in FY 23.
  • Growth Rate-
    • Overall- The FY 22 growth rate for all appropriated funds is 2.6% over the FY 21 appropriation. The FY 23 growth rate for all appropriated funds is 3.9% over the FY 22 appropriation


This budget prioritizes our future by investing in our youngest residents from birth to post-secondary education.

  • Education Cost Sharing Grant – This budget keeps our promises related to education funding and maintains the current roll-out of the ECS formula providing an additional $130 million over the next two years and holds harmless towns who would have otherwise lost funds with the next role out of the system. It also provides additional funding to school systems with higher numbers of low-income students and English Language Learner students.
  • Right-to-Read Provides funding to staff an office in SDE and provided over $13 million in ARPA funds to support reading initiatives in priority school districts.
  • Vocational-Agricultural Education – Provides funding to increase the state per pupil grant for Vocational Agriculture schools by $1,000.
  • Charter Schools – Provides funding to increase the per pupil charter school grant from $11,250 to $11,525. The budget also provides funding for grade growth within some charter schools in the state. It also allocates additional support for charter schools with English Language Learners. This will start a phase-in of the weights relative to ELL and poverty levels that are considered in the ECS formula. This will provide parity between traditional public schools and public charter schools.
  • Debt Free Community College – Provides $14 million in FY 22 and $15 million in FY 23 from the estimated FY 21 surplus to the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities to fully implement debt free community college. This makes community college free and accessible to all students in Connecticut and leverages federal dollars brought in by additional student enrollment to help ensure the long-term success of our community college system.
  • Open-Choice in Danbury & Norwalk – Provides funding of $275,000 in FY 22 and $900,000 in FY 23 to establish an Open Choice pilot in Danbury and Norwalk.
  • Farm-to-School Grants- Provides funding of $250,000 in ARPA each year for the implementation of the Farm-to-School Grant Program. This will assist schools in procuring food from local farmers, nutrition/health education, school gardens and education about local food systems.
  • Support for Students with Dyslexia – Provides four positions and corresponding funding to establish a Dyslexia Training Compliance office within the State Department of Education
  • Safe School Drinking Water – Provides funding to enhance response to drinking water issues in schools undergoing construction projects, and one Environmental Analyst to assist the agency in its continued administration of safe drinking water standards for public drinking water.
  • Roberta Willis – Provides $20 million in FY 22 and FY 23 to increase scholarships for students in higher education
  • SB 2: An Act Concerning Social Equity and the Health, Safety and Education of Children- Provides funding to reflect the elimination of fees paid by families receiving Birth to Three services & expands coverage to children who turn age three on or after May 1, until the start of the school year. It also establishes a youth suicide prevention program providing certification in QPR Institute Gatekeeper Training for district health department employees and expands the DCF Careline to accommodate reports of child abuse or neglect made by text message.


This budget recognizes the importance of access to affordable, high-quality, and inclusive healthcare for all residents of the state.

  • Increases for Local Health Departments – Increased the rates for local health districts and funded them
  • Mobile Mental Health Crisis Services- Provides funding of $2.5 million in both FY 22 and FY 23 to increase access to mobile mental health crisis services throughout the state through additional units and 24/7 services.
  • Creates a Medicaid Type Experience for people with Husky A income eligibility from 160% FPL to 175% FPL through the Access Health Exchange.
  • Expands Medicaid to undocumented children under the age of 8
  • Expands postnatal care for women on Medicaid from 2 to 12 months post birth
  • Expands prenatal and postnatal care for undocumented women
  • Increased Ambulance Rates
  • Planned Parenthood Funding – Provides funding of $2.1 M each year for Planned Parenthood to help restore their lost federal Title X grant support.
  • Tobacco Prevention Activities – Provides funding of $1,000,000 in ARPA to local and district health departments to support tobacco prevention activities.
  • Supports DPH’s Loan Repayment Program for Primary Care Clinicians who provide services in areas of need – Provides funding of $500,000 in ARPA for a Loan Repayment Program for primary care providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and nurse midwives. Funding which has not been appropriated to this account in ten fiscal years.
  • Strengthens our Health Information Exchange (HIE)- Provide funding to support the activities of the HIE.
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus – Provides funding for one Technician position, three part-time positions, and associated expenses to expand the existing mosquito trapping site network by 15 new mosquito trapping stations
  • Support the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner- Provide funding to support the addition of one Forensic Medical Examiner due to an increase in case work relative to drug overdoses to allow them to keep their federal accreditation.
  • Expand Medicaid Coverage to Additional Services – Provide funding to support Medicaid coverage for services provided by a licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist, as well as increased rates for podiatrists.
  • Support Chronic Disease Hospitals & Connecticut Children’s Medical Center- Provide funding to support a 4% increase to chronic disease hospitals and the Connecticut Children’s Medical


This budget reflects investments in Connecticut’s workforce

  • Support for the Tourism Fund & Statewide Marketing Campaign- The Tourism Fund, which supports statewide marketing campaigns as well as various arts and cultural programs, is funded solely by an occupancy tax on hotel stays, a revenue source that has decreased dramatically due to the impacts of the pandemic. This provides funds of $15 million in immediate support for statewide marketing efforts in FY 21
  • Consumer Contact Center for Unemployment Claims at the Department of Labor – Provides funding to continue the operations of the Consumer Contact Center through the end of the biennium.
  • Makes historic investments to support our humanities sector including theatres, arts, children’s museums and more.
  • Opportunities for Long Term Unemployed Program- Provides funding of $750,000 in both FY 22 and FY 23 in ARPA
  • Support for Veterans Seeking Job Opportunities- Provides funding of $350,000 in both FY 22 and FY 23 in ARPA
  • Support for Domestic Workers Provides funding establish a domestic workers education and training grant program
  • Support for Corrections Officers – Provides funding for the Health Improvement Through Employee Control (HITEC) program
  • HB 6383: An Act Concerning Call Centers and Notice of Closures, establishes notice requirements for certain call centers that relocate out of state and enacts certain in-state requirements for state contractors who perform state-business-related call center and customer service work. Provides funding for one Wage Enforcement Agent.