Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

June 6, 2023


Tuesday, June 6, 2023


More Funding for Danbury Public 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.

“There’s so much in this budget that makes me proud to be in the state Senate representing working families. This budget provides $12.6 million in new funding for the Danbury Public Schools, which is the biggest school funding increase from the state since I was elected in 2018! Supporting our public schools has been one of my top priorities,” Sen. Kushner said. “Danbury will also receive nearly $1 million more in other, new municipal aid.”

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).

This budget also includes $5.8 million in the firefighters’ cancer relief fund, allowing firefighters and their survivors to access benefits equivalent to benefits covered under the state’s Workers’ Compensation system and line-of-duty death benefits provided to other first responders.

“Firefighters risk their lives to protect our property and save lives, but too often they come into contact with carcinogens. I’ve been working with the firefighters’ union for four years to expand coverage, and this year, in this budget, we made huge strides,” Sen. Kushner said.

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 $100,000 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, and restoration and continuation of meals for our seniors.

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

· $4.4 million to implement early voting initiatives

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

“While this budget goes a long way toward helping working families in Connecticut, there are also disappointments. We know that we have much to do to fully fund our state universities, to fully fund our non-profits to reward those who care for those who need caring most, and to invest in our children and families by investing more in quality, affordable childcare,” Sen. Kushner said.