Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

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 Mae Flexer 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 for July 2023-June 2025 passed the Senate today on a bipartisan vote of xx-xx. The new state budget includes a total of $612 million in personal income and pension tax cuts while providing $300 million more in state aid to local school districts and hundreds of millions more for nonprofits to pay their employees higher wages.

“I approach this budget with mixed emotions. The budget reflects the values of our state, and there are some areas in this budget where I am proud of those values. Paying down our debt. An increase in the earned income tax credit, which helps a lot of families in my district. I value the budget support for Day Kimball Hospital in northeastern Connecticut,” Sen. Flexer said. “But there is disappointment in this budget as well, such as the lack of support for our nonprofit agencies. There’s not a person in this legislature who doesn’t value the work that these people do, but we should have represented them better in this budget. Access to higher education is also a deep concern of mine. The second year of our state budget will severely limit who is able to go to a public college in Connecticut. There was a time when college was not accessible to everyone. Now that it has become more accessible, we seem to be pulling back funding. Why is that? We should do better for our students.”

In the new state budget, Sen. Flexer’s 29th State Senate District towns of Brooklyn, Mansfield and Windham will receive a combined $5,355,535 in additional Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants compared to what they’re currently receiving.

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 $300 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:

· $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