House Looks To Increase Funding For Municipalities; CROWN Act Expected to Move Forward

NBC Connecticut

The House of Representatives met Wednesday to vote on a bill that increases funding to municipalities and one that would prohibit discrimination against natural Black hair styles in the workplace. 

“I think it’s important to do the increase in PILOT funding now because it puts a marker down,” House Speaker Matt Ritter said. “It makes it very clear that this is going to be a priority of the legislature.” 

Ritter said mayors and first selectmen are preparing their budgets and the legislators want to give them confidence in the amount of money coming from the state. 

“We’re very confident with the revenue picture for the state of Connecticut,” Ritter said.  

The House is expected to approve more than $100 million in new funding for municipalities for non-taxable property, but they don’t specify how they would pay for it. 

“The fact that there’s no appropriation that comes along with this. You know it doesn’t provide that level of certainty,” Republican House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said. 

Candelora said he thinks the vote is ceremonial. 

“We’ll see as we move through the budget process if towns are going to be given the money that they’ve been promised,” Candelora said. 

The PILOT formula has never been fully funded. 

“Half of Hartford’s property is non-taxable. Currently the city receives about $30 million a year under the amount of funding that’s been provided recently,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. 

Bronin said if the formula was fully funded the city would get $100 million more. 

“More fully funding PILOT is an important step forward to breaking our addiction on the property tax, which has left so many communities facing huge disparities,” Bronin said. 

The House is also expected to pass legislation that would ban discrimination against natural Black hairstyles often referred to as the CROWN act. 

“We thought it was important again to send a message to a lot of communities out there -- particularly communities of color -- that we’re ready to start addressing some of these issues that have been around for far too long,” House Majority Leader Jason Rojas said.

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