Photo of Senator Cohen.

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford

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Sen. Cohen, Senate Democrats Pass State Budget with Half a Billion Dollars in Tax Cuts, Investments in Child Care, Mental Health, Social Services and More


HARTFORD – State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) and her Democratic colleagues in the state Senate today led final passage of a modified second year of the two-year state budget that will bring Connecticut's 3.5 million residents a half-billion dollars in tax savings while investing hundreds of millions of other dollars in new childcare, mental health, social services, job creation and other new state programs.

The budget was passed by a 24-12 vote and now heads to Governor Ned Lamont for his signature of the bill into law.

"I am proud of this budget and its investment in the people, the places and our environment in the state of Connecticut," Sen. Cohen said. "This is a moment in history to remember. One which will forever show significant tax cuts for residents, a maxed out Rainy Day Fund that will protect our future and an historic installment to pay down decades of pension debt. From our youngest citizens to our senior citizens, we are putting dollars into programs that support wellness and will help families thrive. From our farms to our schools, we are investing in renewal and growth. From our waterways to our greenways, we are protecting our beautiful communities. This budget is an investment in our future and I was glad to play a part in its creation and passage."

With an influx of federal aid, and with Connecticut tax revenues soaring due to a rebounding state economy, strong job growth and rising incomes, the second year of the biennial state budget was reconfigured by Democrats and Gov. Lamont to increase investments in important programs by 6.5% to $24.2 billion.

The budget includes historic tax cuts for Connecticut's citizens as well as major new investments in some of the human needs that were highlighted by the past two years of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

The Democratic budget is still under the state-mandated spending cap, has maxed out our state Rainy Day Fund at $3.3 billion, and makes a massive, unprecedented $3.5 billion payment toward Connecticut's 70 years of built-up pension debt.

Sen. Cohen, who represents Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford and who also serves as Senate Chair of the Environment Committee, said she is particularly proud of the many town-specific and environment-related aspects of the budget bill that she fought to include.

  • $15,000 for the Haddam-Killingworth Recreation Department
  • $4.5 million for the North Branford Police Department
  • $25,000 for the Durham town website
  • $7 million for farmland restoration and climate resiliency
  • $7 million for 'climate smart' farming initiatives
  • $10 million for a voucher program to purchase zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses and to improve Connecticut's electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • $5 million for a sustainable materials management grant program
  • $300,000 to establish a state Office of Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Require – rather than allow – the teaching of a climate change in public schools.
  • $142,000 to conduct training that will result in certification of Green Snow Pro roadside salt applications
  • $100,000 for the state police to conduct police crisis intervention training
  • $364,000 for five additional Environmental Conservation officers that can be used t promote water safety
  • $500,000 to assist Vista Life Innovations and our intellectually and developmentally disabled community

Some of the $600 million in Democratic tax cuts that will help Connecticut residents include:

  • Continuation of the 25-cent per gallon gasoline tax holiday through December 1, thereby saving Connecticut residents another $150 million.
  • Creates a new $250-per-child credit against the state income tax for low- and middle-income households, up to a maximum of $750, for single filers with earnings less than $100,000 per year and couples making less than $200,000. This saves Connecticut families $125 million.
  • A cap on the tax rate charged by cities and towns on motor vehicles will reduce car taxes by $100 million for residents in about 45% of Connecticut towns.
  • Increase the maximum property tax credit exemption from $200 to $300, saving Connecticut families $60 million per year this year and into the future.
  • Increasing the state Earned Income Tax Credit, a program created by former President Ronald Reagan and used by 186,000 Connecticut residents living in every town in the state. The increased tax deduction will save Connecticut families $49 million a year.
  • Accelerating the phase-out of taxes of certain pension and annuity income, saving Connecticut residents nearly $43 million.
  • The Democratic budget even eliminates the tax on movie theatre tickets, saving movie-goers $2.5 million this year.

On the spending side, Democrats and Gov. Lamont make major investments in the public services Connecticut residents demanded following two years of the deadly and disruptive COVID-19 pandemic: the mental health crisis impacting our children, expanded services for people with substance-use disorders, better wages for people working in our non-profits and as personal care attendants, increased funds to support survivors of domestic violence, more money for community college tuition, job-training programs, and a historic investment in child care services so parents can get back into the workplace.

Some of the hundreds of millions of new dollars that Democrats are investing in Connecticut residents include:

  • $10 million for mental health services at School-Based Health Centers
  • $30 million for increased 24/7 mobile crisis services
  • $1.4 million for no-cost training to address the hiring needs of Electric Boat
  • $72 million for private-sector non-profit pay raises
  • $23 million for personal care attendants
  • $70 million for childcare industry wage enhancements
  • $15 million to renovate and construct early childhood facilities
  • $2.5 million to combat gun violence
  • $2.8 million for survivors of domestic violence
  • $50 million for affordable housing
  • $75 million to update school air conditioning and heating systems
  • $8 million to increase access to town-run summer camps
  • $3 million for senior citizens' adult day programs and Meals on Meals
  • $4 million for Alzheimer’s respite care programs

To view more details and analysis of the Democratic budget, please visit: https://cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2022&bill_num=5506