Conn.: Legislative update: State budget in short session, 2022 state elections loom

February 16, 2022

This year has been characterized as the year when life could—hopefully—begin to assume some semblance of normalcy. However, for several reasons, 2022 is shaping up to be anything but a normal year in Connecticut state politics.  

A short session, federal funding and tax cuts

For one thing, this year’s short legislative session will be even shorter than usual. In even years like 2022, the session begins on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in February. This year, that day fell relatively late in the month on Feb. 9, 2022. The session ends on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in May, which comes early this year on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. All told, state legislators and advocates will have roughly 12 weeks to navigate the state legislative process.

Also, there are revenue issues to resolve this session, but not the kind that lawmakers are used to. The unprecedented influx of federal funding from the various COVID-19 relief packages and strong income tax receipts that are tied to the booming stock market has caused legislators not to have to make budget cuts or raise taxes. On the contrary, it’s likely that they’ll have to figure out ways to cut taxes, and to provide relief to businesses and working families.

To that end, Gov. Ned Lamont’s released a budget recently that calls for $336 million in tax cuts, slashing property taxes and expanding a tax credit that helps employees pay off their student loans. Legislators are expected to try to go even further, such as state House of Representatives Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee Chairman Sean Scanlon, D-98, who has called for the creation of a state child tax credit.

Elections

Finally, looming over the 2022 session is the Connecticut state elections in November. Besides all of the General Assembly seats opening up, there will be elections for the constitutional officers, as well.

As it stands now, several members of the General Assembly from both parties have announced that they will run for the open secretary of the state seat, and Rep. Scanlon, D-98, is considering a run for state comptroller.

Additionally, Lamont is facing a rematch from the 2018 election against businessman Bob Stefanowski, who announced that he plans to put up $10 million of his own funds to take control of the governor’s seat.

Look for updates

How all of these factors combine to drive outcomes in the 2022 session and November’s elections is anyone’s guess, at this point. But, it’s sure to be interesting. For updates on this year’s legislative session and elections in Connecticut, watch your PIA Northeast publications.

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About the author…

James Woulfe, Esq.

James Woulfe, Esq., is the director of Government Affairs, The Connecticut Group LLC. He is PIACT’s lobbyist. James joined The Connecticut Group in November 2016. In 2013-14, while attending law school in the evenings, James worked at a Hartford-based nonprofit and led a successful grassroots campaign to drive passage of Connecticut’s benefit corporation statute. In 2015, he was appointed by then-House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz to the Commission on Connecticut’s Leadership in Corporation and Business Law, where he drafted a comprehensive plan to make Connecticut a national leader in the social enterprise sector.  In 2020, he was appointed by Gov. Ned Lamont to the board of the Metropolitan District Commission. The MDC provides quality water supply, water pollution control, mapping, and household hazardous waste collection to eight member municipalities. In 2021, he was appointed by Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin to serve on the board of the Hartford Housing Authority. James received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2009, and his Juris Doctor from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2015.

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