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, “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 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 their annual State of Working Connecticut report entitled, “Advancing Economic Justice in the Labor Market.” This year’s report examines the economic standing of Connecticut’s workers and calls for a sweeping, antiracist program to advance economic justice; additionally, it offers six recommendations to combat rising wage inequality and to address the substantial racial wage gaps in the U.S. and Connecticut.
Connecticut Voices for Children released their Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022. Versions of this document have been developed throughout the 25 years of the organization’s history. As the state experiences the convergence of a health crisis, an economic recession due to that crisis, and a contentious and long-overdue conversation on race, the “Book” has been refreshed given Voices’ new, strategic aim toward economic justice and these unprecedented times. The Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022 is designed to be a starting point for shared knowledge around the research and recommendations that are fundamental to family economic security and the undergirding fiscal and economics, with the hope of advancing shared action.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report that outlines the three, large, coronavirus-related Congressional bills to date. The report, entitled “Federal Efforts to Address the Coronavirus Pandemic & the Ensuing and Precipitous Economic Downturn” examines The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-123), which became law on March 6, 2020; The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127), which became law on March 18, 2020; The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), which became law March 27, 2020; and The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (P.L. 116-139), which became law April 24, 2020. This report, in three parts, describes the key provisions of these federal efforts, with emphasis on those most relevant to Connecticut children and families.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report that outlines what the state can do to manage a recession and recovery that best supports children and families during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The report, entitled “Supporting Connecticut’s Economy: A Program to Manage the Coronavirus Recession and Recovery,” includes a total of six recommendations. Each recommendation categorized into two buckets: Using Monetary and Fiscal Policy to Support the U.S. Economy, and Using Fiscal Policy to Support Connecticut’s Economy. This report is the first in a series of crisis response reports that will be released over the course of April.
Connecticut Voices for Children released a report entitled ‘Connecticut’s Estate Tax: Addressing Wealth & Income Inequality.’ Connecticut’s estate tax should be one of the most popular taxes in the state. It is a highly progressive tax that falls solely on the ultra-wealthy and raises millions of dollars for the general budget each year. Despite research that shows the estate tax has no real impact on millionaire outmigration, the myth that it does persists. This report argues that the estate tax is good for Connecticut and refutes common arguments in favor of its repeal. In particular, this report shows that the estate tax helps to reduce economic inequality, it helps to limit a major tax loophole that disproportionately benefits the wealthy, and it provides substantial revenue for the general budget.