Gov. Ned Lamont signed the sweeping 28-page bill that extends a suspension of Connecticut’s gas tax, supplements funding for energy assistance and sets aside more money for an essential workers’ bonus pay program.
Upon signing the bill Tuesday, Lamont said it will make Connecticut “a little bit more affordable.”
The bill extends the 25-cent gas tax holiday and starts phasing it out starting in January. It also extends free bus fare on CT Transit through March 31, 2023.
The bill also supplements this year’s $98.5 million of federal Low-Income Household Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) funding with an additional $30 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the Connecticut Department of Social Services.
In addition it supplements the $30 million for the Premium Pay Program, which is providing payments to essential workers for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an additional $75 million, bringing it to a total of $105 million.
And it pushes out the effective date of recent changes to sections in the beverage container redemption program, commonly known as the bottle bill, to allow retailers, especially small retailers, to continue selling off their existing inventory without being in violation of the changes that are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2023.