Connecticut Democrats back earned income credit expansion despite GOP opposition


Connecticut Democrats backed Governor Ned Lamont’s expansion of the state’s earned income tax credit. Lamont will use $75 million in federal coronavirus relief by executive order to pay for the increased tax credit.

He said the funding was another way to get the state’s economy back on track.

“It rewards hard work and it goes to the people who need it most,” Lamont said. “Ninety-seven percent of them have families with kids, so I think that’s the right thing to do.”

Senate Speaker Martin Looney, a Democrat from New Haven, said the funding would boost the state’s economy.

“Every dollar that comes in is spent,” Looney said. “People will live a little less in terror of seeing their car’s check engine light come on, because they might be able to set aside a bit for a car repair, or be able to go without standing bills or to keep track of their rent if they are falling behind.

More than 200,000 households will receive an average of $377 at the end of February.

Families of four are eligible if they earn up to $54,000. Couples with three or more children earning up to $57,000 are eligible.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, a Republican from North Branford, opposes the plan. He said the governor continues to grab headlines rather than make the changes needed to stabilize Connecticut’s future.

Republicans want to cut the state sales tax and end a restaurant surcharge.

Democrats plan to unveil their own tax proposal when the legislative session begins Feb. 9, including earned income tax credit reforms.

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