Connecticut Voices for Children released a new report, “The State of Working Connecticut,” which highlights the depth and scope of the state’s economic problems and outlines the need for progressive budget reform. The combination of a shrunken economy with a highly inequitable distribution has weakened both the state’s fiscal standing and the standard of living for most families, and Connecticut’s economy is on track to grow slower than the U.S. economy during recovery from the recent recession if the state doesn’t act to ensure this doesn’t happen.
The Connecticut General Assembly passed an historic budget and accompanying policies this legislative session. While we are disappointed that fair revenue measures to correct our regressive tax system were not passed, we celebrate the increase of the state EITC to 30.5%, inclusive state CTC language should Congress not enact a permanent expansion, and a plethora of policies that advance economic justice. As is our custom, we’ve laid out our take in our “2021 Legislative Session in Review.“
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report, “The State of Early Childhood During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which offers a total of six short-term and seven long-term recommendations Connecticut can use to reimagine the child care industry as an essential public service and infrastructure in order to address the longstanding barriers to the sector—exacerbated by the pandemic—and that get us closer to universal access to high-quality child care.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report, “More Than a Health Crisis: Long-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Connecticut Youth and Families,” which analyzes the impact of the pandemic on employment, basic needs, and education and outlines the necessity of prioritizing the safety and stability of Connecticut’s youth and families in the state’s recovery planning to avoid long-term economic harm. In order to understand the severity of the pandemic-induced recession on Connecticut’s youth and families, the report examines data collected between August 19, 2020 and March 1, 2021 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Surveys and compares the data against national trends. The report enumerates six overarching recommendations.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report with the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School (CJAC) that examines the collateral consequences of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) on children with incarcerated parents. The report, “Incarcerated Parents and Termination of Parental Rights in Connecticut: Recommendations for Reform,” examines the unintended impacts of ASFA, a federal law passed in 1997 that shifted the goal of child-protection policy from family preservation to adoption, and outlines 18 recommendations to protect parental rights and promote the welfare of children with incarcerated parents.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report that analyzes where increases in minimum wage may have unanticipated effects on some families’ receipt of benefits and hinder families with children from gaining economic mobility, despite increases in their income. The report entitled, “Impact of Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Increase on Access to Benefits for Working Families” outlines 10 policy solutions to mitigate the impacts of benefits cliffs—when a small wage increase leads to a significant reduction in public benefits. Benefits cliffs inadvertently worsen a family’s economic security, stifle economic growth by keeping individuals from participating in the workforce, and disproportionately impact women and people of color.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report entitled, “Advancing Economic Justice Through Tax Reform,” which proposes a tax restructure so that the system is fair for all residents. The report provides an overview of economic injustice in Connecticut, Connecticut’s regressive tax system and shows that it is a key contributor to the economic injustice in the state, a substantial multi-year revenue shortfall in Connecticut due to the coronavirus pandemic and recession, and tax reform options to address the three preceding problems.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report entitled, “A New Function of an Old System: The Effect of Overdraft Protection Programs on Economic Security,” which explores the detrimental impacts of bank overdraft protection programs and associated fees on marginalized communities and makes policy recommendations so that residents and policymakers can better understand if Connecticut follows national trends.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report, “Reduce, Reinvest, and Do Right: A Model to Estimate Savings from Reducing Connecticut’s Youth Detention, Invest in Nonprofit Community Organizations, and Help Communities Thrive,” that examines the marginal daily cost of keeping youth in detention and recommends ways for the state to reduce the use of detention and invest associated funds in nonprofit services that work to reduce youth crime rates. The report contains three key analyses: 1) the variable cost of keeping one youth in detention for one day, 2) the statewide and within-city costs of operating nonprofit community organizations shown to reduce crime rates, and 3) estimates anticipated crime reduction for adding nonprofit community organizations in Connecticut’s five largest cities. The report also includes recommendations that are classified into three main areas: 1) to decrease the use of detention, 2) to invest funding such that Connecticut reduces arrests and serves communities, and 3) to improve the transparency of justice costs.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a new report entitled, “Separate & Unequal: The Interactive Effects of Housing and Education Policies on School Segregation in Connecticut,” which examines how residential segregation in Connecticut—and the subsequent educational segregation—persists due to ongoing racial discrimination, current town zoning ordinances, and school district boundaries. Find out how Connecticut’s housing and education policies disrupt opportunities for investments in Black and Latinx communities and what we can do to make the state more equitable.