Connecticut Child Tax Credit Application Period Opens in June

Families in Connecticut can begin applying for the Child Tax Rebate in June, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced Thursday afternoon that families who are eligible can earn up to $250 per child through the 2022 Connecticut Child Tax Rebate. The application period opens June 1. Earlier this month, the tax break was signed into law. The rebate is contained in the fiscal year 2023 budget adjustment bill, which includes more than $600 million in tax cuts.

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Connecticut Democrats Drum Up Fear Young Teen Girls May Require Parental Notification for Abortion to Stave Off Bob Stefanowski Win

Connecticut Democrats are attempting to incite fear among their constituents that young teen girls are in danger of having to notify their parents if they seek an abortion if Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski wins against Governor Ned Lamont (D) in November.

Though Connecticut codified abortion rights into state law in 1990 and, earlier this month, expanded them by protecting the state’s abortionists and holding out Connecticut as an abortion haven for women from other states, Democrat State Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D) framed Stefanowski and other state Republicans during a press conference Tuesday as threats to abortion rights over the Republican’s support for parental notification for young teen girls seeking an abortion.

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Connecticut Black Pro-Life Democrat Who Stood Up to Party on Abortion Expansion Bill Faces Primary Challenge

A black, pro-life Democrat lawmaker who received national attention for standing up to her party in the Connecticut state House as she voted against its abortion expansion bill, now is facing a primary challenge for her seat by a young white liberal man.

Connecticut State Rep. Treneé McGee (D-West Haven) received praise from the national Susan B. Anthony List in April for her stirring words as she spoke about the harms abortion has brought to her black community.

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Connecticut Families Can Soon Get Child Tax Credit

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and other Connecticut public officials announced on Thursday that families will soon get access to the state’s new child tax credit.

About 300,000 postcards went into the mail yesterday advising families of how to apply for the relief which comes at $250 per child and up to $750 per family. Qualifying recipients include single tax filers with children and with income under $100,000 annually as well as couples with children filing jointly who make under $200,000 yearly in total. Those with incomes above those levels may, however, succeed in securing some relief.

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Connecticut Republican Senators Find Governor’s Oversight of West Haven’s COVID Spending Inadequate

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) this week approved the Municipal Accountability Review Board’s (MARB) request to heighten state oversight of the city of West Haven which is alleged to have misspent COVID-19 relief money, but Republican lawmakers are arguing that the move falls short.

The state now deems West Haven a Tier IV municipality, subjecting it to the most rigorous financial scrutiny for which state law provides. This comes as a result of an audit MARB issued last month which detailed numerous fiscal-management problems the city has incurred. Earlier in April, a separate review by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management found that the city misused nearly four-fifths of over $1 million in funds it received as part of COVID response efforts.

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Connecticut Governor Signs Climate Change Legislation

Climate mitigation and expanding renewable energy programs are tucked inside two key pieces of climate change legislation that have now been signed, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced early Tuesday afternoon that Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 176 which bring together the state’s commitment to decarbonizing the electric grid and widening renewable energy programs in an attempt to halt climate change.

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Connecticut Gas Prices Rising Despite Tax Pause

Both Democrats and Republicans in Hartford worked for and celebrated the Connecticut gasoline-tax suspension that Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed in late March, but new data indicate its effect could be lessening.

The center-right Yankee Institute (YI) published an analysis on Saturday showing that the difference between gasoline costs in Connecticut and those in Massachusetts, which did not enact a similar gas-tax holiday, are narrowing.

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New Connecticut Law Will Permit School Logos, Colors in NIL Endorsements

College athletes will be able to use their school names and logos to earn cash under a new law, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The Democratic governor signed Public Act 22-11 into law this week that, beginning July 1, will give student-athletes the right to use their university or college’s name, trademarks, mascots, colors, copyrights, and other insignia to earn profits with the name, likeness, and images, known as NIL, for endorsement contracts.

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Former Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Sues over 2020 Firing

Connecticut’s former Public Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell filed a lawsuit this week against the state and the Department of Public Health, for Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) decision to fire her in 2020.

Her lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, alleges that Gov. Ned Lamont (D) dismissed her “simply on the basis that he did not prefer to have an older, African American female in the public eye as the individual leading the State in the fight against COVID-19.” The complaint argues that she is entitled to compensatory damages for violations of the anti-retaliation and anti-discrimination components of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as the state’s Fair Employment Practices Act.

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Lamont Holds Ceremony for Connecticut Abortion Rights Expansion

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT) held a ceremony at the state Capitol Tuesday to celebrate his recent approval of a bill strengthening legal protections for abortionists as well as those seeking to end their pregnancies in Connecticut.

The legislation also expands the list of practitioners who the state enables to perform abortions.

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Klarides Gets GOP Endorsement for Senator from Connecticut; Primary Still Likely

Themis Klarides received the endorsement of the Connecticut Republican Party last week for nomination to unseat Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal but fellow Republicans Leora Levy and Peter Lumaj got sufficient backing at the nominating convention to pursue primary campaigns.

Both Levy, a businesswoman, and Lumaj, a former secretary of state hopeful and former gubernatorial candidate, are running to the right of Klarides, a former minority leader of the state House of Representatives who has voted for gun-control legislation and favors abortion rights. Levy and Lumaj oppose both. Insofar as this year’s election will be decided amidst the expected overturning of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion, Klarides could find her position on abortion a liability in the primary, though possibly an asset in a blue-state general election.

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Connecticut Governor Signs First Pro-Abortion Legislation After Anticipated End to Roe

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Thursday became the first state leader to sign legislation affirming abortion rights after a news leak revealed that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is likely to soon be overturned.

The bill provides legal protections to those performing or seeking abortions — including those coming in from other states to do so — and expands the list of practitioners who are permitted to perform abortion procedures.

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Lamont Plans to Sign Connecticut Budget

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) indicated Thursday he plans to sign the $24 billion Fiscal Year 2022-23 state budget passed by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

Democratic representatives and senators likewise hailed the fiscal plan, noting the nearly $600 million in tax reduction it contains.

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Connecticut State House Approves Legislative Pay Raise

By a vote of 95-53 on Tuesday, Connecticut’s State House of Representatives approved a 43-percent salary increase for state lawmakers and statewide elected officials.

It is the first such pay raise enacted since 2000. Representatives conducted no public hearings on it, having only fleetingly discussed potential adjustments to politicians’ compensation during committee meetings.

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MyHomeCT to Assist Homeowners Financially Impacted by COVID-19

Mother putting mask on child

A federally funded program designed to assist Connecticut homeowners negatively impacted by COVID-19 is now available, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced MyHomeCT, a new state program, is funded with $123 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars that were received by the state’s Department of Housing. The program is being administered by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.

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Connecticut House Passes Legislation Barring Work Meetings Discussing Unions

On Friday, Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting companies’ management from requiring workers to listen to discussions regarding labor organization, politics or religion.

The AFL-CIO, to which more than 200,000 Connecticut workers belong, lauded the move in favor of the policy — known as a “captive audience” restriction — which no other state except Oregon has enacted. Union leaders have denounced the kind of meetings banned by the legislation, complaining that such events are unfairly used to inveigh against union-organization efforts.

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Lamont: Sikorsky Deal Keeps Company in Connecticut

An agreement ratified by the General Assembly will keep a military company in Connecticut for years to come, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced an agreement has been finalized with Lockheed Martin to keep its helicopter manufacturer in the state through 2042. Sikorsky will sustain more than 7,000 jobs in the state under the new deal which could expand helicopter lines being produced at its Straftord facility.

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Carbon Reduction Bill for Connecticut’s Electric Grid Awaits Governor’s Signature

A plan to phase the Connecticut’s electric grid to zero-carbon status by 2024 is the focus of a bill that now awaits Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature.

The governor announced Senate Bill 10 focuses on a reduction on carbon emissions, which was established through an executive order in 2019, that allows state policymakers and companies in the electric sector to fully transition the grid away from natural gas and oil.

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Lamont and Legislators Moving on Connecticut Budget Deal

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and leaders of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly are touting a $24-billion budget deal for the next fiscal year that contains almost $600 million in tax reduction.

Most of the tax relief, however, will only remain in effect through the end of the year.

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Committee Passes Bill to Adopt California Emissions Standards for Connecticut Trucks

Legislation to align Connecticut’s emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks with California’s stringent regulations passed the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee on Monday and awaits consideration by the state House and Senate.

The regulations chiefly concern the discharge of nitrogen-oxide which is associated with worsening acid rain and smog as well as respiratory and cardiac ailments.

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Connecticut State Employee Contracts Ratified

By a 22-13 vote, Connecticut’s state Senate on Friday ratified contracts with state workers estimated to cost taxpayers roughly $1.9 billion.

The Democrat-controlled state House of Representatives approved the agreements with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) 96-52 the prior day. All House Democrats and only one House Republican, Thomas Delnicki (R-South Windsor), voted for the deals. The Senate vote came down along party lines.

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Connecticut Approved for Federal Funds for Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Connecticut has been approved to receive federal funding for new substance abuse treatments, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the state will receive $30 million in annual Medicaid funding that will benefit residents who are struggling with substance abuse to provide them heightened treatment. Funding will also cover residential care services while increasing provider payment rates.

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Lamont Sends $8 Million to Fund Connecticut Summer Enrichment Program

Ned Lamont

An investment of federal funds will benefit schoolchildren throughout Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced $8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds will be invested in the Summer Enrichment Program. The funding will be sent to the Department of Education, which will disperse the funds to programs designed to help students continue to be connected to high-quality education programs when school is not in session.

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Connecticut to Use New Math Curricula to Benefit Students

Classroom of students.

Middle and high school students in Connecticut will benefit from a new curriculum, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor, along with Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker, announced a new statewide curriculum for math students around the state. The first phase features math instruction for students in grades 6 to 8 and financial literacy courses for students in grades 6 to 12.

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Nearly 3,000 State Workers in Connecticut Had Salaries Exceeding the Governor’s in 2021

A review of Connecticut’s salary records published by the center-right Yankee Institute (YI) Thursday indicated that 2,927 state employees received higher salaries than the governor in 2021.

State statute confers a $150,000 yearly salary on Gov. Ned Lamont (D). Approximately 2,000 state employees earned higher pay than him through 2017. Over the next three years, that number rose by nearly 1,000.

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Gov. Lamont Vows to Keep Abortion Legal in Connecticut If Roe v. Wade Goes

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Connecticut) gathered at the Lyceum Center in Hartford with abortion advocates on Tuesday to promise abortion rights will continue in the state regardless of any forthcoming decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The right to choose is under attack in numerous states across America,” Lamont declared, flanked by representatives of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund. “We won’t let that happen in Connecticut.”

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Connecticut Fiscal Conservatives Warn Against SEBAC Contracts

The Yankee Institute (YI), Connecticut’s premier economically conservative think tank, is exhorting state lawmakers to reject contracts that the Lamont administration negotiated with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC).

YI began warning against the eventual fiscal consequences of the agreements after the public-employee labor coalition started publicizing their major features in mid-March. Later that month, the SEBAC’s 15 unions approved the agreements and, on April 1, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) requested that the Democrat-controlled General Assembly ratify the deals, characterizing them as “responsible and fair.”

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Connecticut GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Stefanowski Picks Devlin as Running Mate

Bob Stefanowski and Laura Devlin

Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski announced Tuesday at Fairfield Town Hall that he has picked Deputy House Minority Leader Laura Devlin (R-Fairfield) as his running mate.

Stefanowski is challenging Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) bid for reelection. A former chief executive officer of the Dollar Financial Group who previously worked for General Electric, the Republican candidate touted Devlin’s background as an entrepreneur before she became a legislator in 2015.

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Lawmakers Call for Challenge to ARPA Rules Limiting Connecticut Tax Reduction

Ned Lamont

Connecticut Republican legislators said on Saturday they want the state to challenge a part of the American Rescue Plan Act which limits states’ ability to cut taxes.

GOP senators and representatives are calling for tax reduction beyond the targeted relief backed by Gov. Ned Lamont (D). A major roadblock to greater decreases will be the COVID-relief bill President Joe Biden signed into law last year. The act included $195.3 billion in recovery funds for states and barred states accepting allocations from using them to “directly or indirectly offset a reduction in net tax revenue… or delay the imposition of any tax or tax increase.”

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Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Keller Retiring

Connecticut Supreme Court Associate Justice Christine E. Keller announced this week her intention to retire and accept “senior status” with the court.

Her retirement takes effect on April 1, 2022. Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who appointed the justice two years ago, thanked the justice for her service on Thursday and announced he will nominate her successor during this session of the General Assembly.

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Bill Would Give Legislators Access to Connecticut Residents’ Tax Returns

Kate Farrar, Michael Winkler rand Josh Elliot

Connecticut leftists are promoting legislation that would let lawmakers request and receive copies of any residents’ tax return.

Advocates for the bill are basing their case on “fairness and equality,” insisting that access to individuals’ financial information will help them improve tax policy from a progressive standpoint, i.e. claim more revenue from higher-income earners.

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Connecticut Senate Votes to Expand Absentee Voting

Connecticut’s Democrat-controlled Senate this week sent sent legislation to expand absentee voting to Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) desk.

The bill stops short of total no-excuse absentee voting—which the Connecticut Constitution prohibits—but significantly broadens the categories of those permitted to mail in their ballots. Not only will eligibility apply to those who are ill, disabled or serving actively in the Armed Forces, but it will also include those who are absent “from the town of such elector’s or person’s voting residence; [during all of the hours of voting].” (This component largely pertains to the many state residents who work in New York City.)

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Gov. Lamont Signs Connecticut Gas-Tax Holiday Legislation

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) this week signed legislation suspending Connecticut’s 25-cent-per gallon gasoline tax.

The gas-tax holiday passed both houses of the state legislature unanimously and will last through the end of June. Also to ease Nutmeggers’ economic woes in light of skyrocketing inflation, the state is also providing free bus service to residents throughout April.

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New Connecticut Incubator Could Spur Job Growth, Business Development

Ned Lamont

A $1.3 million business incubator is in the works, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said.

Lamont announced the anticipated approval from the Connecticut State Bond Commission for the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut’s Thames River Innovation Center which will focus on job growth in the state.

The center, according to a release, will be located in New London and will give businesses and workers an innovation center and working space, in addition to the site being used for training, technical apprenticeships, and business development.

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Connecticut Public-Sector Unions to Get Costly Raises and Bonuses If Contracts Approved

Worker in restaurant kitchen

According to a brochure distributed by Connecticut’s public-sector-labor coalition, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and the state’s unionized employees have negotiated contracts that will cost taxpayers plenty if ratified. 

Wins for each unionized worker would include $3,500 in bonuses and and three yearly wage hikes of 2.5 percent, which would be made retroactive to summer of 2021. About two-thirds of union-affiliated employees would also get “step” raises; i.e., elevation to the next pay rate. These bonuses and salary gains would also factor into future pension payments.

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Lamont Proposes Connecticut Gas Tax Suspension; Republicans Press for Vote

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) this week proposed a holiday from the state’s 25-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax to last through the month of June.

He said he does not believe the gas-tax break can be extended beyond July 1 insofar as Connecticut’s acceptance of federal funds under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) restricts the state as to how much it can reduce taxes. The governor also voiced concern that a longer tax holiday would compromise the state’s ability to fund transportation. The gas tax’s suspension will cost the state over $90 million.

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Connecticut’s ‘Moms for Bob’ Seeks Win for Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Stefanowski

Bob Stefanowski

Connecticut mothers disillusioned with Democrat rule in Connecticut are using their energy to block Democrat Gov. Ned Lamont from a second term and help boost Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski to victory in November.

The mothers, who have formed a group dubbed “Moms for Bob,” are hoping their efforts will do for Stefanowski what parents did for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R).

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Connecticut Bill Would Have Employers Pay Unemployment to Strikers

Ned Lamont

If Connecticut’s Democrat-run General Assembly and Governor Ned Lamont (D) approve a bill now before the Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees, striking workers will gain the right to collect unemployment.

Current state law does not permit union strikers to collect jobless benefits, as eligibility requires having come into “unemployment through no fault of your own.” The legislation under consideration, sponsored by State Representatives Michael Winkler (D-Vernon), David Michel (D-Stamford) and Robyn Porter (D-Hamden) would, starting this October, allow strikers to get unemployment checks two weeks into a labor walkout.

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Lamont: Family First Prevention Plan Gains Federal Approval

Ned Lamont

A plan that provides greater access to mental health services and substance abuse treatment has received federal approval, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the Family First Prevention Plan was approved by the U.S. Children’s Bureau. The plan is drawn from the Family First Prevention Services Act that was signed into law as part of the U.S. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

“This prevention plan is designed to enhance the well-being of all of Connecticut’s children, youth, and families,” Lamont said in the release. “I am very proud of the collaborative and deliberate approach taken by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to lead this effort. This is Connecticut’s plan and one that will lead to our children having a brighter future.”

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Connecticut Lawmakers Clash on Tax Policy at Hearing

At a Connecticut General Assembly hearing Thursday, state lawmakers clashed on visions of tax policy, with Republicans pressing for sales-tax reduction and Democrats advocating a mix of tax increases and targeted relief.

According to the nonprofit Tax Foundation, 12.8 percent of Connecticut residents’ income goes to government coffers, making the combined state and local tax take the second-highest in the U.S., just behind New York’s 14.1 percent overall burden.

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Despite Connecticut Governor Lamont Ending Statewide School Masking, Hamden Keeps Mandate

Although Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) allowed the statewide school-mask mandate to end on Monday, the Hamden Board of Education (BOE) voted that evening to indefinitely extend its requirement.

The vote came down along party lines, with Republican BOE members Austin Cesare, Kevin Shea and Gary Walsh supporting the mandate’s cancellation; Board Chair Melissa A. Kaplan as well as fellow Democrats David Asbery, Siobhan Carter-David, Mariam Khan and Réuel Parks voted to keep it.

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Commitment to Behavioral Health in Connecticut Governor’s Spending Plan

Ned Lamont

A number of programs within Connecticut’s health-related agencies could be the benefactors of added cash infusions in the second year of Gov. Ned Lamont’s 2022-23 biennium budget.

Members of the Connecticut General Assembly sitting on the Joint Appropriations Committee discussed with agency heads a range of issues — from sports gambling to staffing shortages to lead abatement programs — at a Feb. 24 meeting.

Lamont, a 68-year-old Democrat, earlier this year announced a proposed amendment to the second half of the biennium budget. He wants to add 2.4% into the spending plan for fiscal year 2023, which would bring its total to $24.2 million.

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Connecticut Governor’s Lifting of School Mask Mandate Depends on Legislature Voting to Extend His Emergency Powers

Connecticut children cannot be certain they can finally be free of wearing masks in school since, although Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he would end the state school mask mandate by February 28, that plan may depend on the legislature voting to extend his pandemic emergency powers, and then on individual school districts.

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Lamont told residents he will roll back some coronavirus restrictions, including the school mask mandate, adding, “You have earned this freedom.”

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Connecticut Governor Lamont Directs Increase in Earned Income Tax Credit to Benefit Lower-Income Taxpayers

Ned Lamont

Nearly 200,000 households in Connecticut will benefit from an increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor said in a news release that the Department of Revenue Services will increase the 2020 Earned Income Tax Credit from 23% to 41.5% as directed by the state budget.

Lamont said the increase will “provide needed economic support to low-to-moderate income working individuals and families” who faced negative economic impacts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Connecticut Relents, Orders All Labs to Report Negative Coronavirus Test Results, Leaving Ohio One of Two States to Fail to Comply With Federal Law

The State of Connecticut has gotten on board with the CDC to report negative test results to help the agency better track the spread of the coronavirus, leaving Ohio and Maryland as the only holdouts in complying with federal law.

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Gov.-Elect Lee, Other New Governors Meet With President Trump

Gov.-elect Bill Lee met with President Donald Trump Thursday. Lee was among a group of 13 newly elected Republican and Democratic governors who met the president at the White House to talk about the workforce, veterans, infrastructure and other issues, WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reported. At least five Cabinet secretaries…

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