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January 13, 2023

Tax cuts, housing, child care among lawmaker priorities

PHOTO | Michelle Tuccitto Sullo  The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Regional Legislative Forum Breakfast on Jan. 12, 2023.

Lawmakers plan to tackle issues such as a tax cut for the middle class and making housing more affordable in the 2023 legislative session.

Several lawmakers participated Thursday morning in the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Regional Legislative Forum Breakfast. Hundreds attended the event at Southern Connecticut State University’s Michael J. Adanti Student Center. The theme was “Advancing Greater New Haven – Building Our Shared Future.” 

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney outlined several key issues which lawmakers will consider in the coming months.

One priority is helping children through increased services, according to Looney.

“We need to make an ongoing commitment to our children, with more access to preschool, daycare and mental health care,” Looney said.

Young people have struggled from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted.

“Many families need help beyond what is available in school,” Looney said.

Several lawmakers spoke about the need to support daycare providers, noting how many mothers dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic. Adequate daycare is key to boosting the workforce at a time when employers are struggling to fill jobs, lawmakers said.

Looney noted that Gov. Ned Lamont has called for a “meaningful middle-class tax cut,” which lawmakers will consider in the weeks ahead.

The state also has a “great need” for workforce housing, Looney said. 

Homes in the range of $200,000 to $400,000 — typically the target for middle class homebuyers, have been in high demand with not enough supply, according to Looney.

“We need to provide for the middle class and provide affordable housing,” Looney said.

He also emphasized making cities a place where people want to live, not just work.

“We need to build the population of our cities to make them healthier,” Looney said. “We need to find a way to help our cities grow.”

Deputy Speaker Dorinda Borer (D-West Haven) said lawmakers are working to boost economic development, pointing to the Community Investment Fund, passed last year, which she said aims to transform communities. 

It is a five-year grant program of up to $875 million to foster economic development in historically underserved communities. Municipalities, community development corporations and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

Eligible projects range from affordable housing to brownfield remediation, infrastructure and public facilities. The funds may also be used for small business support programs that provide revolving loans, gap financing, microloans or start-up financing. 

“It can be used for capital funding, land acquisition, brownfields remediation and programs that develop jobs,” Borer said. “We need to get the word out that this program is available.”

The legislature will also be focusing on assisting the arts, culture and tourism sector with requests for more funding, she added. 

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

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