Governor Lamont Signs Fiscal Year 2022-2023 State Budget: Invests in Education, Healthcare, Childcare, Workforce Development, Towns, and Nonprofits With No Tax Hikes
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today signed legislation enacting a biennial state budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 that was approved by the Connecticut General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support and makes significant investments in education, healthcare, childcare, workforce development, cities and towns, and nonprofit social service providers while not raising taxes. The budget remains $58 million under the spending cap, even while investing an additional $1 billion toward paying off Connecticut’s unfunded pension debt.
Connecticut’s bond rating this year reached its highest level in more than two decades, and analysts expect the state to end the current fiscal year with a surplus that leaves the rainy day fund at its largest amount in history.
The governor specifically noted that the 2022 and 2023 biennial budget:
- Invests the most local government aid to towns and cities in state history, including an additional $525 million over the next two years through a combination of increased Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) and Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants.
- Increases the state Earned Income Tax Credit for working families from the current 23% of the federal income tax to 30.5%, which will provide an additional $40 million in income – $158 million overall – to nearly 195,000 Connecticut households.
- Expands access to quality, affordable healthcare to working families by covering out-of-pocket and premium costs for approximately 40,000 individuals through Access Health CT. This innovative approach to expanding Medicaid will maximize federal support, minimize taxpayer costs, and allow the state to help tens of thousands of families that otherwise struggle to afford doctor visits and medicine.
- Expands access to affordable childcare by providing $5.3 million to cover three months of parent fees in the Care4Kids program and $3.5 million to cover parent fees in state-funded childcare centers over the summer of 2021.
- Expands workforce development support through the investment of $110 million over the next three years in short-term workforce training programs designed to help unemployed or underemployed residents earn high-paying jobs in high-demand industries such as healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and clean energy.
- Supports nonprofit health and human service providers through an additional $50 million in support from the FY 2021 surplus, plus an additional $30 million in FY 2022 and FY 2023 that will be matched by another $30 million in federal funds.
- Does not include any increases in income tax and sales tax rates.
“When I took the oath of office two years ago, Connecticut was facing a $3.7 billion deficit. Today, I’m proud to say that not only have we closed that deficit, but we did it while making an historic investment in our pension obligations, we left the rainy day fund untouched and at its largest amount ever, and we did it while not raising taxes,” Governor Lamont said. “For more than two decades, Connecticut’s fiscal instability left us economically vulnerable, resulting in slow growth and volatility in our economy. Connecticut is making a comeback. We are on stronger ground than we’ve been in decades, and businesses are taking note, including a major Fortune 500 company that just this week announced it will be relocating its headquarters to Connecticut. The changes we’ve made over these last two years will lift our state up for generations to come. I applaud the bipartisan legislators who have worked with our administration to move our state forward with this strong, sensible, and progressive budget.”
“This is a budget full of wins for families across Connecticut,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “With record investments in early childhood education, childcare, K-12 education, and reductions in healthcare costs, this budget will be transformational in our state. And critically, we did these big things on a bipartisan basis, on time, and without raising taxes. In the past year, thousands of families have bet on Connecticut, choosing to come to our beautiful state, and this budget will only continue that momentum. I applaud Governor Lamont for his leadership crafting a historic budget.”
The two pieces of legislation Governor Lamont signed today enacting the biennial budget include House Bill 6689 – commonly known as the budget bill – and Senate Bill 1202 – commonly referred to as the implementer.