Doug McCrory


Doug McCrory



March 1, 2021

Senator McCrory Supports Legislation to Address Workplace Discrimination, End Liens on Welfare Recipients’ Homes

In Addition, the Senator Supported Higher PILOT Grants for Cities and Towns, and Job-Growth Legislation on Data Center Development

Today, State Senator Doug McCrory (D-Hartford) voted for several pieces of legislation including the C.R.O.W.N. Act that would prohibit workplace discrimination against individuals for wearing ethnic hairstyles, support economic and job growth in the state of Connecticut, and end the practice of placing liens on the homes of welfare recipients.

“We have this piece of legislation here today and we can send a message to every other state in this Union that on this day Connecticut is going to say we are going to let our Queens wear their crowns without prejudice,” Sen. McCrory said in speaking about the C.R.O.W.N. Act.

Prohibiting Workplace Discrimination of Hair Styles

The C.R.O.W.N. Act, prohibits workplace discrimination against individuals for wearing ethnic hairstyles that are historically associated with race.

The new bill expands the definition of “race” in the state’s antidiscrimination laws to be inclusive of traits like hair texture and protective hairstyles, which can include braids, locs and twists, which are historically associated with an individual’s race.

The bill comes as about 80 percent of Black women have said they feel they need to change their natural hair color to fit in at their workplace. Black women are also three times more likely to have their hairstyles called “unprofessional” compared to white women, and Black women are 50 percent more likely than white women to have been sent home from the workforce solely due to their hair.

Ending the Placing Liens on the Homes of Welfare Recipients

According to a recent report regrading state liens placed on the property of former cash assistance recipients, at least 12 states have laws authorizing the placement of liens to recover state or federal public assistance paid to a property owner. Connecticut laws cover the broadest range of public assistance programs, and is one of only two states to place liens on family cash assistance.

Such liens are often unknown to the property owner and arise only during refinancing or when the owner attempts to sell their property. These liens undo a lifetime of financial progress and make it more difficult to refinance a home, subject vulnerable homeowners to pay higher housing costs, and often prevents older residents from retiring when they should.

The bill revokes all such liens as of July 1 and ceases the enforcement on any pending liens by that date as well.

Higher State PILOT (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) Grants for Cities and Towns

Cities and towns lose out on collecting local property taxes when they have “non-taxable” property in town such as hospitals, airports, private universities, state-owned property and other land. For years, Connecticut has not spent enough on such PILOT grants, setting aside only about 25% of what is needed. That means cities and towns have to either increase local property taxes or cut local services to make up the difference.

In a concept that was first proposed by Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney (D-New Haven) in late January, the bill creates three tiers of municipalities for new, minimum state PILOT grants. House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said that the bill was proposed in order to put down a “marker” for upcoming biennial state budget negotiations with the governor’s office.

The bill defines Tier 1 towns as having an equalized net grand list of less than $100,000 per person. Tier 2 towns have an equalized net grand list of between $100,000 and $200,000 per person, and Tier 3 towns have an equalized net grand list of more than $200,000 per person.

The state currently funds PILOT at about 25% of its full formula. Under the bill, Tier 1 towns would receive a minimum of 50% of their calculated state PILOT funding, Tier 2 towns 40%, and Tier 3 towns 30%.

Tax Incentives to Support Data Centers, Job-Creation in Opportunity Zones

The bill increases Connecticut’s chances of becoming a leader in the creation of new data centers by waiving sales taxes for up to 30 years on data centers that invest at least $400 million in a facility in a qualified opportunity zone, or at least $200 million if the facility is located in an enterprise zone.

Such data centers would also be exempt from any financial transaction tax or fee that may be imposed by the state through trades of stocks, bonds, or other financial products. This exemption would last for 30 years from the date any new facility is completed.