Top stories in state and local politics this week included the Senate leader’s support for phasing in a child income tax credit, concern over deteroriating town infrastructure in Wallingford and frustration over a double-digit increase in state health insurance rates.
Here’s the rundown on all three.
Senate leader supports 5-year phase-in for CT child tax credit
Over the past two years, the fight for a new state income tax credit for families with children has run into an affordability roadblock. But Connecticut’s highest-ranking state senator offered an alternate route this week to make this relief a reality, adding that the coronavirus pandemic, high inflation and longstanding income and wealth inequality issues have left many working families in financial crisis.
As the state enjoyed multibillion-dollar budget surpluses, many legislators and policy groups have endorsed a $600-per-child credit — up to $1,800 per household — during the 2022 and 2023 General Assembly sessions. Nonpartisan analysts estimate this proposal would deliver about $300 million per year to families.
Though full details won’t be resolved until the regular 2024 session starts in February, Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven said he likely would recommend starting the credit at $200 per child in the first year, gradually increasing it $100 per year until it reaches $600.
Read the full story on ctmirror.org.
New maintenance committee details several issues in first report to Wallingford council
Conditions at several town buildings and parks are in need of attention, some sooner rather than later, the Building Maintenance Committee told the Town Council last week. The committee, formed earlier this year, gave the council its first report on the inspections it has done and what they found. In some cases, it was difficult to stick to the charge of the committee because of the emotions felt seeing some of the conditions, committee Chairman Jason Michaels said.
The last building the committee inspected was Town Hall, where they found numerous problems, including structural problems with windows, the foundation needing recoating and masonry that is “showing its age,” Michaels said.
Read more about this story on myrecordjournal.com.
Amid proposed CT health insurance rate hikes, advocates and residents fight back
Frustrated residents, advocates and elected officials demanded Monday that state insurance regulators roll back double-digit rate hikes recommended by insurance companies for 2024 health plans on and off Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act Exchange.
Carriers have asked for an average increase of 12.4% on individual health plans and an average hike of 14.8% on small group policies next year. The filings collectively cover about 188,000 people.
This is the second year insurers have sought substantial rate hikes. Last year, the companies requested an average increase of 20.4% on individual plans and 14.8% on small group policies. The insurance department ultimately approved average increases of 12.9% on individual plans and 7.9% on small group.
Read the full story on ctmirror.org