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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Children's Trust Fund Proposal an Investment in CT Families

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Monday, April 25, 2022   

A proposal in Connecticut would create a Children's Trust Fund, to support a state Child Tax Credit and early child care initiatives.

Advocates said the funding is key to make Connecticut an affordable place for families.

The Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee voted this month to adjust Gov. Ned Lamont's proposed budget to include the Trust Fund, using a portion of the state's nearly $4 billion surplus. The fund would finance a state-led Child Tax Credit, providing monthly payments to parents.

Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, the committee co-chair, said Connecticut cannot wait for federal action.

"At this time, especially, every dollar does matter," Scanlon asserted. "There's thousands upon thousands of people right now who are living paycheck to paycheck and don't really know how they are going to afford these escalating prices. And something like the Child Tax Credit, it would make a big difference to folks."

The state tax credit would deliver $600 per month to low-income families. The Connecticut legislative session ends on May 4 and the budget must be finalized by June 30.

The trust fund also would support an initiative to increase the supply of infant and toddler care in the state by providing higher subsidy amounts.

Merrill Gay, executive director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, said it would allow child care programs to pay staff higher wages and open more slots for families to access care.

"If you invest in high-quality early childhood, you get a much better return on that investment," Gay contended. "Kids are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to go on to college, just a whole slew of reasons why spending money in those first three years of life makes sense."

The average cost of child care at a licensed center in Connecticut is around $18,000 a year, Gay said. The proposed budget includes nearly $125 million in child care funding.


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