2017 Connecticut Legislative Session Wrap-Up: Bill Status Updates

2017 Connecticut Legislative Session Wrap-Up: Bill Status Updates

We have been actively tracking, addressing, and reporting on many legislative items relevant to accounting professionals at the Capitol this session. Below are the status of these bills at the end of the 2017 session.

Taxes

  • SB 5, Estate Tax: Increases the Connecticut estate tax to match the federal state tax exemption. Died.
  • SB 62, Gift Tax: Repeals the gift tax beginning January 1, 2010. Died.
  • SB 787, Governor’s Revenue Package: Finance Committee tax package for fiscal years 2018-2019, which includes across-the-board fee increases and a number of tax provisions, including exempting Social Security benefits from personal income tax, reducing healthcare center tax rates and insurance premiums, a seven-year phaseout of the hospital tax (set to begin in fiscal year 2021), increasing the estate and gift tax threshold over three years, eliminating the gift tax in 2020, allowing taxpayers with stranded research and development credits who make certain investments or capital improvements to use those credits, creating a tax credit for qualifying college graduates, and lowering (starting July 1, 2019) the maximum amount of General Fund-supported debt the legislature can authorize. Died, but components of substitute Senate Bill 787 are expected to be raised and possibly merged into the final budget.
  • SB 965, Income Tax Reductions: Requires Connecticut Innovations to study and recommend certain business sectors for inclusion in a program providing an income tax deduction for venture capital investment in Connecticut. Died.
  • SB 1047, Tax Preparer Registration/Penalties: Mandates registration of certain tax preparers, but excludes CPAs and tax preparers working under CPAs. Also includes a penalty provision for certain prohibited acts. Died, but sections were merged into HB 7312, which was adopted by the House and Senate and awaits action by the Governor.
  • HB 5583, Angel Tax: Expands angel investor tax credit eligibility. Awaits action by the Governor.
  • HB 6681, Property Tax Appeals: Restricts the types of professionals that may value property or participate in a property tax appeal. Died.
  • HB 6746, Tax Credits: Permits certain tax credits to companies investing in biotech and bioscience companies in the state. Died.
  • HB 7050, Distressed Municipalities: Establishes a system so distressed towns and cities can bring themselves under state fiscal control. Died.
  • HB 7312, Numerous DRS Proposed Tax Policy Changes: Makes numerous tax law changes concerning DRS tax enforcement, including shortening sales tax permit validity from five to two years (for any permit issued on or after October 1, 2017), establishes weekly sales tax remittance methods, requires income tax withholding for certain pension/annuity payments, requires copies of federal information returns reporting payment transactions processed for Connecticut retailers be submitted to DRS, requires websites like Airbnb to collect and remit use tax similarly to a hotel, changes the order in which partial tax payments are submitted, subjects deferred compensation performed in Connecticut to personal income tax, advances the date payers of nonpayroll amounts not subject to withholding must submit returns, and requires current DRS employees to have periodic criminal background checks. Mandates registration of certain tax preparers, but excludes CPAs and tax preparers working under CPAs. Also includes a penalty provision for certain prohibited acts. Awaits action by the Governor.

Forensic Accounting

  • SB 4, Municipal Electric Utillity Cooperatives: Intends to increase public awareness and provide transparency regarding municipal electric energy cooperatives, in part by requiring a forensic examination on a regular basis. Some of the terms used in the forensic examination section are not appropriate and the CTCPA will be seeking modifications. Awaits action by the Governor.

Regulatory Reform

  • SB 818, Suspension of Civil Penalties by DEEP: Requires Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to suspend any civil penalty levied against a business for a first-time, minor, unintentional offense of any regulatory provisions if corrective action is taken by the offender within 30 days. Died.
  • HB 7063, Information Included in Proposed Regulations: Requires proposed regulations to include a plain language summary of the regulation. Died.

Transportation

  • SJ 5, Amendment to the State Constitution Regarding the Special Transportation Fund: Proposes a constitutional lockbox for the special transportation fund. Died.
  • HJ 41, Amendment to the State Constitution Limiting Use of Special Transportation Fund Money: Proposes a constitutional lockbox for the special transportation fund. Died.
  • HJ 100, Amendment to the State Constitution to Protect Transportation Funds: Proposes a constitutional lockbox for the special transportation fund. Awaits action by the Governor.
  • HB 7054, Roadways: Requires the Department of Transportation to study issues related to state roadways. Died.

Business Liability

  • SB 442, Antitrust: Amends state antitrust laws to clarify certain enforcement provisions. Died. 

Human Resources

  • SB 1, Family and Medical Leave: Creates a new paid family/medical leave mandate that applies to businesses and municipalities, but not the state. Died.
  • SB 611, Charging Unemployment Benefits: Prohibits charging unemployment benefits to a fired employee who subsequently became employed elsewhere. Died.
  • SB 747, Prohibiting ‘On-Call’ Shift Scheduling for Employees: Requires employers to post employee schedules 24 hours ahead of time or face possible disciplinary action from the Department of Labor. Died.
  • SB 929, Whistleblower: Adds punitive and future economic damages to the penalties a whistleblower can seek. Expands from 90 to 120 days to the time period employees have to sue their employer under the whistleblower statutes. Died.
  • HB 5210, Pay Equity: Prohibits employers from asking about wage/salary history for prospective employees; requires individuals be paid equally for work paid under “comparable” conditions. Died.
  • HB 6212, Paid Family and Medical Leave: Establishes a new paid family/medical leave mandate that applies to businesses and municipalities but not the state. Died.
  • HB 6219, Community Reentry for Previously Incarcerated Individuals: Provides incentives to employers for hiring previously incarcerated individuals. Awaits action by the Governor.
  • HB 6461, Unemployment Compensation: Makes four unemployment changes that will help restore solvency to the state unemployment trust fund. Died.
  • HB 6519, Employer Credit Inquiries: Eliminates the ability of certain businesses to use credit checks for prospective employees who would potentially have access to nonfinancial assets. Died.
  • HB 6666, Workers’ Compensation Exclusive Remedy: Eliminates the exclusive remedy in workers’ compensation cases where a plaintiff clams undue delay in receiving medical treatment. Died.
  • HB 6668, Pregnant Women in the Workplace: Requires employers of 3 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees or applicants, unless the accommodation would be an undue hardship. Awaits action by the Governor.
  • HB 7085, Credit Card Transactions and Gratuities: Prohibits deductions for credit card processing fee on the gratuity of a restaurant check. Died.
  • HB 7132, Worker’s Compensation: Requires an employee to send notice of a worker’s compensation claim to the individual specified in the employer’s notice of worker’s compensation claim policy (if employer posts such a notice). The 28-day period to contest a claim will not start running until the proper person receives the claim. Awaits action by the Governor.