Connecticut Leaders Urge Rollback For Cap on State and Local Tax Deductions

Gov. Ned Lamont, alongside the Democratic governors of New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, California and Hawaii, issued a letter last Friday imploring President Joe Biden to support a repeal of the federal cap on state and local tax deductions.  The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, signed into law in 2017 by then-President Donald Trump, placed a $10,000 cap on SALT deductions for federal tax filings. As a result, high earners in higher-tax states like Connecticut would be able to deduct only half of local property taxes, for example, from their federal taxes. The governors described the cap as a

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Scanlon Proposes $600 Child Tax Credit to Bolster Federal Aid

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Vice President Kamala Harris visited Connecticut last week to tout the American Rescue Plan, the federal COVID-19 aid bill that will bring billions in funding to the state.  Her visit came with a particular focus on the new federal child tax credit, which will bring a $3,000 yearly benefit per child between six and 17 years old, and $3,600 per child under six. The credit begins to phase out at individual incomes of $75,000 or couples earning up to $150,000. “Through this plan, we are going to lift half of America’s children out of poverty,” Harris said, speaking at West

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5 Ways the $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan May Affect Your Finances

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law on March 11. Here’s what Connecticut residents need to know. Direct Payments If you are single and make less than $75,000, you will receive $1,400 from the federal government. That payment will phase out up at $80,000. If you are single and make more than $80,000 you are ineligible. Married couples making less than $150,000 will receive a full payment of $2,800, plus an additional $1,400 for each dependent child. Couples with a combined income of between $150,000 and $160,000 will receive a fraction of the payment. Those who make over

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Federal Aid Announced to Compensate Connecticut Restaurants for 2020 Losses

A loosening of pandemic restrictions and a large federal aid package could represent a turning point for Connecticut restaurants according to Scott Dolch, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. “For us, to get a specific restaurant fund … this is huge, it’s a big deal,” Dolch told CT Examiner at a press conference in Manchester on Thursday. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law on March 11, includes a “Restaurant Revitalization Fund” of $28.6 billion.   As written, the legislation will compensate restaurants for the full amount of business losses in 2020 when compared to 2019 revenue. 

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Courtney Fields Questions on COVID Aid

Congressman Joe Courtney held a tele-town hall Wednesday evening to answer constituent calls about the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Courtney, the Democrat representing Connecticut’s second congressional district, took questions on everything from childcare providers and vaccine distribution to special education and PPE manufacturing. Education issues came up throughout the call, with one caller from Mystic, who said his daughter has experienced significant learning loss from not being at school in-person, asking Courtney about whether the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will help mitigate learning loss.  “My heart goes out to you,” responded Courtney, who said the competing demands placed

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Courtney to Hold Tele-Town Hall on Wednesday to Answer Questions on $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan

Congressman Joe Courtney will hold a tele-town hall Wednesday, March 17 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM to answer constituent questions about the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.  Courtney, a Democrat representing Connecticut’s second congressional district, said in a press release that he hopes to shed light on what the newly passed COVID relief bill will mean for the communities he serves.  “Passage of the bill extended Unemployment Insurance, it authorized a new round of funding for local restaurants and small businesses, and it directs support straight to our towns that will fund strained essential services from firehouses and police

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Mike France on the Race for Connecticut’s Second Congressional District Against Joe Courtney

State Rep. Mike France, R-Ledyard, announced on Feb. 23 that he is challenging Democratic Congressman Joe Courtney, who represents Connecticut’s second congressional district, covering most of the eastern half of the state. Courtney unseated former Congressman Rob Simmons, a Republican, fifteen years ago, winning that election by just 83 votes. Since then, Courtney has comfortably won reelection each cycle, including last November with nearly 60 percent of the vote. France is a retired U.S. Navy officer who has served in the statehouse since 2015. In a conversation with the Connecticut Examiner, France shared how he would represent eastern Connecticut differently

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A Victory for Plum Island Advocates in latest COVID Relief Bill

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After 12 years, Plum Island is off the auction block because of a provision in the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed on Monday.  It’s been 12 years of fighting to prevent the sale of the island, said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, during a public zoom call that included members of Preserve Plum Island Coalition, an alliance of more than 116 organizations  “We fought for years to prevent the sale to a developer. We tried locating it, at first, with the National Park Service then with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” Schumer said.  Since 1954, the 840-acre

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Courtney Sponsors Bill to Aid Districts with Tribal Lands and Military Bases

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A federal bill introduced by Congressman Joe Courtney to protect education funding for districts like Groton and Ledyard with children living on tribal lands and military bases was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 4. “This is a big deal for us,” said Michael Graner, superintendent of Groton school district. “Groton has about 1000 military-dependent children who live in military housing, and because their parents don’t pay property taxes on their military housing, the town misses out on that revenue.” The bipartisan “Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act” will allow school districts to receive the same federal Impact

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In Interview, DeLauro Sketches Priorities as Appropriations Chair

House Democrats elected Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who represents the greater New Haven area, to chair the House Appropriations Committee for the 117th Congress. The veteran congresswoman will take over the committee in January following the retirement of Rep. Nita Lowey of New York. The vote from the full caucus ratified the Steering and Policy Committee’s vote on Tuesday to recommend DeLauro for the position.  On Friday, DeLauro told Connecticut Examiner that she is thrilled and humbled by the new role.  “To be chosen by my peers as chair of the Appropriations Committee is an honor,” DeLauro said. “The committee holds

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Courtney Sketches Out Agenda Under a Biden Administration

CT Examiner spoke with Joe Courtney, Connecticut’s 2nd District representative, about his legislative priorities heading into the lame duck session and the next administration.  The following transcript has been edited for clarity and condensed.  Stimulus and the Lame Duck CT EX: What are the prospects for a stimulus package and COVID relief bill in the new Congress?  COURTNEY: First off, we’re still seeking to get a COVID relief bill done in the lame duck session. No one’s given up on that, and Plan A is still to get relief out as soon as possible. COVID is picking up speed, and

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$2.6 Million in Federal COVID Funds Earmarked for 65 Libraries Across Connecticut

Since the Governor’s Office allocated $2.6 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to public libraries last week, local librarians have been brainstorming creative ways to use the funds.  The funding, which will be distributed to 65 library districts across the state, is designated for the purchase of PPE, furniture, cleaning services and internet expansion.  Susan Rooney, the librarian at Deep River Public Library, said she had a lot of ideas about how to use the funding, including an outdoor tent with a heater and furnishing for people to sit and study, air purifiers and wifi hotspots on either side of

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With One Month to Go, State Officials Seek to Boost Census Numbers for Connecticut

With one month to go before the reporting deadline for the U.S. Census, eight percent of Connecticut households still remain uncounted, currently the ninth-best completion rate in the country and the second-best response rate in New England after Maine.  In August, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it would stop collecting responses for the census on September 30, a month earlier than previously stated.  According to Elizabeth Porter, chair of the Complete Contact Committee in Groton, the abrupt change in the deadline for collecting responses has created some challenges. “That, to me, was just unfair,” she said. “If you set

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