Lamont Pitches Plan to Overhaul Connecticut’s Pass-Through Tax Credit

Gov. Ned Lamont wants to update Connecticut’s pass-through entity tax credit, which he says will save business owners, and the state more money.

The plan, a key component of Lamont’s yet-to-be-unveiled budget proposal, calls for restoring Connecticut’s pass-through entity tax credit back to its original level of 93.01%, allowing certain business owners to claim a larger credit on personal income tax returns.

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Report: Connecticut Legal Aid Saved State Millions

Connecticut saved taxpayers millions of dollars through a pandemic-related program that provided legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction, according to a new report.

The report on the state’s right-to-counsel program, prepared by the independent consulting firm Stout, found that by preventing evictions or helping tenants find new housing before they’re evicted likely saved Connecticut taxpayers between $5.8 and $6.3 million from the end of January to the end of November 2022. 

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Truckers Weigh Options on New Connecticut Highway Tax

Truckers are criticizing a new Connecticut law charging them a tax for driving on the state’s roadways, with a trade group weighing a legal challenge. 

The new law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, requires commercial truckers to pay rates ranging from 2.5 cents per mile for trucks with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds to 10 cents per mile for trucks weighing 80,000 pounds. Trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds are slated to pay 17.5 cents per mile under the new regulations. 

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Connecticut Receives $5.7 Million from Feds for Internet

Connecticut is receiving $5 million in federal grants to expand high-speed internet service, and fill gaps in coverage in low-income communities. 

The money, provided through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet for All initiative, includes a $4.2 million Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment grant and a $736,568 Digital Equity grant. 

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Connecticut to Receive $127 Million from Opioid Settlement

Connecticut is slated to receive another payout from a multi-state opioid settlement involving two of the nation’s largest retail pharmacies. 

Under the tentative deal, CVS and Walgreens have agreed to pay state and local governments a combined total of more than $10 billion to settle lawsuits over the toll of highly-addictive prescription opioids.

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Connecticut Gets Boost from Credit Rating Agency

A Wall Street credit rating firm has bumped up Connecticut’s score for its general obligation bonds, citing the state’s ever improving financial outlook. 

Standard & Poor’s announced Monday, it is upgrading Connecticut’s general obligation bond credit rating from A+ (positive) to AA- (stable), as the state prepares to issue more than $900 million in bonds next week for school construction and other public projects. 

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Connecticut Leaders Blast Higher Energy Costs

Connecticut energy consumers will be digging deeper into their pockets this winter with the state’s two largest utilities seeking hefty rate increases.

In a filing to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Eversource is proposing to increase electric rates charged to consumers by nearly 50%, or $85 per month for the average customer.

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Governor Pledges Fiscal Responsibility in Connecticut Democrats’ Trifecta

Reelected Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday pledged fiscal responsibility for the coming four years in Hartford.

“With a lot of edging and hedging about what we do in terms of fiscal guardrails that help get this state back on track when it comes to getting our fiscal house in order, I call them the Fonfara Rules coming out in 2017,” Lamont said. “Basically, it says you are not going to spend more than what you can count on in terms of revenues.

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Democratic Secretaries of State Warn ‘Independent State Legislature Theory’ Would Upend Elections

Thirteen Secretaries of State led by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Moore v. Harper, a case that will have the court considering the “independent state legislature” theory.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Moore v. Harper in December, a case brought forth after the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature adopted a new congressional voting map based on 2020 Census results. A group of Democratic voters and nonprofit organizations alleged the map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution and challenged it in court, according to Ballotpedia.

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Connecticut Small Businesses Get $46.6 Million in Five-Year Plan

A five-year plan to invest in small businesses in Connecticut is now a reality.

Connecticut will invest $46.6 million in the coming years that will help small business expansion through assistance programs across the state. Nonprofit economic development groups will receive the state grants, authorized at a recent Bond Commission meeting, that will assist small businesses with formation, growth and innovation.

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End of Benefits, Rising Inflation Contribute to Food Insecurity in Connecticut

As benefits such as the enhanced child tax credit end and inflation increases, more Connecticut residents are facing food insecurity.

As DataHaven reports that 17% of Connecticut adults have been unable to afford food at some point in the past year, Julieth Callejas, who serves as executive director of End Hunger Connecticut, told The Center Square in an exclusive interview that many factors contribute to the trend. The percentage is the highest in the last five years.

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Unemployment Claims Drop in Connecticut

More Connecticut residents are returning to work.

The latest Department of Labor report shows a decrease in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits. By adding another 2,900 jobs in August, the state stands roughly 36,000 jobs less than it recorded in January 2020 with a high of 1.7 million.

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Connecticut Child-Care Workers Get $70 Million in Bonuses

Child-care workers in Connecticut will soon be getting bonus payments.

The Lamont administration announced Thursday afternoon that $70 million in Appreciate Bonus Payments will be distributed to child-care providers in the state. Bonuses of $1,000 will go to full-time employees of child-care providers and $400 to part-time workers through the Wage Supports for Early Childhood Educators program.

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Funds in Connecticut Will Assist Sexual Assault Probes

Helping Connecticut process sexual assault evidence kits in a more timely manner is the focus of new federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced it will award $1.2 million to Connecticut that will be used at the state’s Forensic Laboratory for adding personnel, supplies, and equipment to aid ongoing efforts in sexual assault investigations, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

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Connecticut Pension Funds to Benefit from $2.8 Billion Transfer

A historical payment is headed to Connecticut’s pension plan.

State Comptroller Natalie Braswell is in the process of transferring $3.1 billion from the state’s operating surplus into the rainy day fund, triggering a one-time, special payment of $2.8 billion into the state’s unfunded pension liabilities, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

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Connecticut Program Up for National Award

A Connecticut family-based program has been nominated for a national award.

Care 4 Kids Parent Portal has been named for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers as a finalist in the 2022 State IT Recognition Awards, Gov. Ned Lamont said. The program, run through the office of Early Childhood, was created in 2021 to give low- to -moderate-income families a subsidy to pay for child care.

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Lawsuit Alleges Students Were Bullied in Connecticut School District for Their Political Beliefs

by Reagan Reese   Parents of a Connecticut school district are suing over a school policy which has led to their students being bullied because of their political beliefs. The lawsuit filed Wednesday to the U.S. District Court against Board of Education at Guilford Public Schools in Guilford, Connecticut, alleges that a…

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Connecticut Task Force Begins Examining Early Childhood Workforce Concerns

Licensure requirements, professional development opportunities and employment compensation are among some of the weighty issues a new Connecticut task force will delve into in the coming months.

The state’s Early Childhood Workforce Development Task Force held its first monthly meeting recently and began laying the groundwork for its deep-dive conversations in the coming months.

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Connecticut’s Broadband Program Gains Federal Approval

A Connecticut plan to use federal funding to expand broadband access in the state has gained federal approval.

The Connecticut Broadband Infrastructure Program, Gov. Ned Lamont said, will use $42.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand service to underserved areas in the state and was approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Broadband will be expanded, or improved, in 10,000 households and businesses.

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Report Reveals Force Used in One Percent of Arrest Incidents in Connecticut

A new report shows that Connecticut’s law enforcement agencies use force 1% of the time.

The Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy used police use of force from across the state in its report. Kenneth Barone, associate director of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, told The Center Square that the report was a challenge as it is the first of its kind and only the second state-wide analysis of use of force in the nation.

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PACT Program Extended in Connecticut

A program that provides taxpayer funding for qualifying Connecticut students to attend community college has been extended.

PACT provides funding to students to cover the difference between state and federal grants, community college tuition and mandatory fees, and, for the first time, allows part-time students taking six or more credits to qualify for the program.

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Study: Connecticut’s Disabled Residents Struggle to Make Ends Meet

A recent report reveals that many Connecticut residents living with disabilities are unable to afford basic necessities.

The United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut released a study that shows 48% of disabled residents in the state are living in ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or poverty-level conditions and struggle to afford basic housing, child care, health care, and transportation.

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Connecticut Program Seeks to Land Workers in High-Demand Jobs

Connecticut is implementing a new training program that is designed to give workers the skills necessary to fill jobs in high-priority occupations.

CareerConneCT, a $70 million program, backed by American Rescue Plan Act funds, will operate 19 various job training programs, Gov. Ned Lamont said. The training programs are aimed at giving workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic short-term training to get them the credentials needed to work in various sectors of the workforce in higher quality jobs that are in demand.

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Commentary: The Real Job Crisis in Connecticut

The real crisis in the U.S. labor market is not, as we keep hearing, that there are not enough people who can work. The real crisis is all of the working-age people on the sidelines, not even looking for a job. Yes, the unemployment rate is low, but that statistic covers only people who have looked for a job in the last four weeks. The labor force participation rate, which measures the share of working-age people working or at least looking for work, shows a long-term decline, especially for men without a college degree. This is especially true in states like Connecticut. When able-bodied men are not even looking for work, a host of social problems ensue — from crime, to drug addiction, to family breakdown. 

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Levy Tops Connecticut GOP Field, Challenges Blumenthal in November

The picture for Connecticut’s November general election cleared with Tuesday’s primary.

The Election Day turnout of 20.37% cast ballots to determine who qualifies for the November election for one U.S. Senate seat, five U.S. House seats, and the state’s secretary of state and treasurer.

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Connecticut Invests in Infrastructure at Rocky Hill Facility

Veterans coming to Connecticut’s Rocky Hill campus will be seeing changes.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday the state will be performing $5.1 million in infrastructure upgrades to the Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Hartford. The funding was approved at last week’s State Bond Commission meeting.

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Connecticut Will Use Federal Funds to Get People Back to Work

Connecticut is focusing on a workforce investment designed to place state residents from underserved communities into high-demand jobs.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday the state was awarded $23.9 million through the American Rescue Plan’s Good Jobs Challenge through the U.S. Department of Commerce. The funds will be invested into the Office of Workforce Strategy programs designed to place more than 2,000 residents into the workforce.

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Connecticut Making Investment in Sewer Pollution Prevention Projects

Preventing sewage pollution is the focus of a new investment in Connecticut.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who will be challenged by Republican Bob Stefanowski in November’s general election, says the state is pledging $580 million to shovel-ready municipal water pollution control projects around the state. The investment is designed to cut down on sewage pollution in the state’s waters.

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Bond Commission Set to Approve $34 Million Funding for Connecticut’s State Parks

Patrons of the great outdoors in Connecticut could be seeing a myriad of improvements at state parks and other facilities.

The State Bond Commission on Friday is expected to approve $34 million in state funding on that will be used to improve and increase access for residents utilizing the aging state parks system.

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Connecticut Governor Signs Auto Theft Prevention Bill

Car thieves in Connecticut will be seeing a swifter response from law enforcement.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, up for reelection in the Aug. 9 primary, signed Public Act 22-115 into law this week. The measure updates criminal justice statutes in the state, while providing law enforcement and the courts to act quickly while more effectively responding to youth that are charged with repeated car theft violations.

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Connecticut Attorney General Reaches $1.8 Million Settlement with Eversource

A settlement has been reached with one public utility company, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.

The state’s top law enforcement official announced a $1.8 million settlement has been reached with Eversource over the company’s alleged false and deceptive high-pressure tactics that were used to try to and encourage people to convert to natural gas.

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Connecticut Online Casino Gaming Up and Running

Live online casino gaming is up and running in Connecticut.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Evolution Gaming Studio is now operating in the state. The company is offering live dealer games on FanDuel and DraftKings iCasino on a limited basis for blackjack and roulette through a soft launch that transitions to full gaming at 11 a.m. Monday.

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Connecticut Minimum Wage Not a Guarantee to End Poverty

Employees in Connecticut are now earning a minimum wage of $14, and one industry expert says the wage isn’t enough to support a family.

Connecticut increased its minimum wage on July 1 for the fourth time since 2019. Fred Carstensen, director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, said many of the jobs available are lower-wage jobs that don’t offer benefits such as health care.

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Connecticut’s AG Tong Among 20 State Attorneys General Supporting New National Gun Control Rule

A coalition of 20 state attorneys general, all Democrats, are backing a federal gun rule in court.

The Final Rule, as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives named it, would enable law enforcement officials to trace any homemade guns used in crimes. In addition, the rule limits trafficking the weaponry.

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Economist: ‘When It Comes to Connecticut, Businesses Are Being Incentivized to Look Elsewhere’

LEGO Group’s decision to spend $1 billion to build a new factory near Richmond, Virginia, has led economy and industry experts to raise questions about the status of the Denmark company’s Connecticut headquarters.

The global toymaker announced at a press conference with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) its plans to build a new factory in Chesterfield, a move that would expand its production in the United States and create about 1,760 new jobs.

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Connecticut Governor Signs Consumer Data Privacy Act into Law

Greater safeguards to personal data are the focus of legislation that has now become law in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced Public Act 22-15 has been signed. The legislation creates a comprehensive set of protections designed to help consumers by creating a stronger ability to safeguard personal data that is collected with online businesses.

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Lamont: Manufacturing Company Expanding in Connecticut

An advanced coatings manufacturer is undertaking an expansion project in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced Element 119, which currently employs 14 people, plans to add an additional 36 workers over the next two years at its production facilities in Thomaston and Cheshire.

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Connecticut Request for Planning Regions to Be Used in Census Approved

Connecticut’s nine planning regions will now be used by the U.S. Census rather than traditional counties when the next decennial county rolls around, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the state has received approval of a request sent to the U.S. Census Bureau that will allow each planning region, represented by a Council of Government, to be used for tabulating and disseminating census data. The planning regions will be used as a county equivalent.

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Connecticut Child Tax Credit Program Accepting Applications

Connecticut’s child tax credit program is now taking applications, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the application period for the 2022 Connecticut Child Tax Rebate will accept applications through July 31. The rebate was developed within the budget bill Lamont signed last month and provides a rebate of up to $250 per child up to three children.

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Connecticut to Hire ‘Misinformation’ Specialist to Police the Internet

Connecticut is hiring a “misinformation” specialist to police the internet ahead of the midterm elections, according to the state’s budget statement.

The position of a misinformation “security analyst” was proposed by Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill to combat alleged election misinformation that has “undermined public confidence in the fairness and capability of election results,” according to the budget statement.

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Cannabis Home Delivery Slated to Begin in Connecticut

Home delivery to Connecticut cannabis consumers is one step closer to reality as the lottery for delivery licenses closed last week.

“Delivery service is one of the license types now available in Connecticut as part of the new adult-use program,” Kaitlyn Krasselt, communications director at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, told The Center Square. “Home delivery will also be available to patients in the medical marijuana program.”

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Connecticut Governor Signs Bill Limiting Isolated Confinement in Prisons, Jails

A new law setting limitations on isolated confinement for incarcerated individuals will take effect in Connecticut on July 1, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor signed Public Act 22-18 into law on Tuesday. The new law sets criteria for the amount of time and the circumstances under which inmates at state prisons and jails can spend in isolation. The law also sets new requirements for when isolation can be used.

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Connecticut Tax Policy Changes Would Help Working Families

A pair of tax law changes that would help residents account for the costs of raising children are under consideration by the Connecticut General Assembly.

Proposals include permanently increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit to 41.5% of the federal EITC and implementing a child tax credit that would allow households $600 per child for up to three children. This would help Connecticut families, as CT Voices for Children reported, where the average cost per year for raising a child in the state is $16,990.

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Connecticut’s Gas Tax Holiday Providing Savings, but Impacting Small Businesses

While Connecticut’s gas tax holiday is saving residents at the pump, the savings just isn’t enough, one industry expert says.

Chris Herb, president of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, said the tax holiday that expires June 30 is viewed very highly from consumers.

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Connecticut Legislative Intervention Sought to Repay Pandemic Unemployment Loans

Connecticut businesses are on the hook for $463 million in unemployment assistance the state owes to the federal government.

As the state’s businesses are facing higher taxes and additional assessments this fall, the state is eyeing a repayment of nearly half of the $900 million it borrowed, according to a report by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, to cover record unemployment claims throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Connecticut Bills Call for New Mental Health Treatment Techniques

Using psychedelics to treat mental health disorders is the focus of a bill that passed out of the Public Health Committee, Senate Democrats said.

House Bill 5396, which addresses access to mental and behavioral health services and medications, moved out of committee on Monday. The bills are sponsored by state Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, who serves a vice chairman of the committee.

House Bill 5275 also moved out of the committee; it addresses step therapy and prescription drugs for mental and behavioral health issues.

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CT-5 Democrat Incumbent Jahana Hayes Intimates Black GOP Opponent Only Running Because of Race

Democrat Incumbent U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes recently intimated to supporters in a Zoom call that her Black GOP opponent was only in the campaign because of his race.

Hayes also recently told supporters that if she loses her race in November, then Democrats all around the country are in trouble. Sources tell The Connecticut Star that Hayes is feeling the pressure in Connecticut’s highly competitive Fifth Congressional district contest.

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