Governor Lamont: “Working Families Are Central to Connecticut’s Economic Success and Future Growth”
Governor Proposes a Series of Initiatives to Support the Prosperity and Financial Security of Connecticut’s Working Families
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced a series of legislative proposals designed to help Connecticut’s working families, including a phased in minimum wage increase, paid family and medical leave (PFML), and a restoration of a $200 property tax credit that is currently only applicable to seniors and those with dependents. Both minimum wage increase and the PFML proposals echo existing bills recently proposed by legislators. Governor Lamont intends to work collaboratively with the business community, stakeholders and the legislature to determine the best path forward for the state.
“Working families are central to our state’s success, and we need to do more to support their long-term financial stability,” Governor Lamont said. “Most households in the 21st century have two working parents juggling responsibilities, including caring for infants and elderly and their own health. If we can assist them with these critical responsibilities in a way that also considers the impact on employers, we’ll have helped our future economic growth and done the right thing. We know working families are the backbone of our state. If they are not financially stable, Connecticut will never be.”
In Connecticut, middle and upper-income individuals working for large employers are more likely to have access to PFML, but only about six percent of low-income workers do, often resulting in increased business turnover, as well as costs to the state for public assistance. Governor Lamont aims to equalize this benefit by proposing residents earn paid leave by contributing a small portion of their pay – approximately 0.5% – toward a family and medical leave trust fund similar to insurance. The governor and the Office of Policy and Management are engaged in ongoing conversations with key stakeholders to determine the specific parameters for this bill that best support working families and businesses alike.
The governor will also propose following recommendations made by the Connecticut Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth to phase-in an increase in the minimum wage to $15 over four years. The increase would go to $11.25 in January 2020, followed by an increase of $1.25 every year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2023, the same year as Massachusetts.
Lastly, Governor Lamont wants to restore a property tax credit of up to $200 for homeowners and individuals with registered vehicles to take advantage upon filing their taxes. Currently, the credit is limited to seniors over the age of 65 or those individuals with dependents.
Full details of the proposals will be submitted to the legislature on February 20 along with the proposed budget.