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CCM: Legislative Session Nets Out For CT's Munis

CCM: Legislative Session Nets Out For CT's Munis

Hartford Business Journal, June 13, 2019

By Matt Pilon

The largest association of cities and towns in the state says the recently concluded legislative session was a net positive for its municipal members.

The state’s $43.4 billion two-year spending plan, passed by lawmakers last week (and still awaiting Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature as of late Wednesday), gives local school districts greater budget-setting flexibility and increases education cost sharing funding by nearly $116 million.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) said its members are also pleased about the defeat of a proposal to shift $73 million in teacher pension costs onto cities and towns. 

Other key issues back to top

Some other session highlights, according to CCM, include: 

  • Easing local cost pressures, lawmakers ordered an increase in the amount that local employees are required to contribute towards their state-provided pension plan, from 5.5 to 8 percent by 2024. 
  • A compromise deal with municipal police and fire unions over post-traumatic stress benefits.  
  • There were no significant changes to the local motor vehicle tax, which generates approximately $900 million annually for cities and towns.
  • A $381 million portion of the current year state budget surplus will be used to shore up and re-amortize the state teachers' pension fund. 
  • Cities and towns expect that a ban on plastic bags will reduce costs and headaches in their recycling operations.

​​​Among proposals that did not pass, CCM said one disappointment for municipalities was House Bill 7294, which passed the House but died in the Senate. It would have increased the state’s bottle deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents, increased revenue to redemption centers and expanded the deposit to a variety of currently exempt beverage containers, such as juice, tea, and sports drinks.