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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

CT lawmakers considering state child tax credit bill

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Thursday, March 7, 2024   

Child tax credit legislation is being considered in Connecticut.

The state is one of several without such a credit, though a child tax rebate was offered early in the pandemic. Connecticut's growing cost of living has made it hard for families to afford essentials.

United Way of Connecticut's ALICE Essentials index shows basic costs increased more than 18% between 2021 and 2023.

Jessica Vargas is a New Britain single mother who said she feels this credit can help people who don't meet income requirements for other assistance programs.

"Because my income fell slightly above the income threshold that many programs had, that left me not qualifying for much of anything," said Vargas. "And so, I was forced to strategize ways to stretch my weekly paycheck to ensure all of our basic needs are met."

Connecticut's credit would provide families with a $600 per child credit for up to three children.

Legislation to create a state credit was brought before the General Assembly in 2022, but failed in committee.

Testimony at public hearings for both the House and Senate versions of the bill had unanimous support.

Lawmakers and advocates hope to lower the state's child poverty rate. After the federal child tax credit ended, it rose from around 4% to 11% in one year.

State Rep. Sarah Keitt - D-Fairfield - said creating a permanent child tax credit has multiple statewide benefits.

"For every Child Tax Credit $1 a family receives they return $1.38 back to our local economies," said Keitt. "That's a 38% return on investment. So, not only are these tax credits good for Connecticut families, but they are good for Connecticut economies."

Some experts feel along with a state credit, the recently passed Federal Child Tax Credit expansion will also help families.

The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities finds the new federal credit will benefit 16 million low-income kids nationwide in its first year... 119,000 of them in Connecticut.




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