Yesterday the General Assembly’s Labor Committee heard testimony on two bills that, if passed, would mean new taxes adding up to 7 percent or more of the income of many Connecticut residents.

The bills were Senate Bill 221, “An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave,” and House Bill 5591, “An Act Creating the Connecticut Retirement Security Program.”

The “paid” in “Paid Family and Medical Leave” means paid for by you – because every resident in the state would have to pay a new tax for this new program. How much would the tax be? That’s anybody’s guess – the number isn’t in the bill. Activists are saying it would be about 1 percent of pay, but with benefits as high as $1,000 a week for 12 weeks for people who take the leave, the actual tax would likely be higher. And this new mandate would be placed on businesses with as few as two employees – making Connecticut even less business-friendly.

The new retirement mandate would create a state-run retirement program for all state residents who work and do not have a retirement option through their employer.  The plan is to take 6 percent out of a person’s paycheck to put into the state-run program, unless the person opts out. And forget choice – the state-run plan will have just one provider. And why does the state feel the need to compete with private providers? Apparently supporters think the state does a better job, which means they’ve likely forgotten that the retirement fund for state employees is deeply underfunded.

Both of these programs will require hundreds of new state employees to manage them. But the activists supporting the programs claim they are “self-funding.” This is misleading – they will be funded, but the money will actually come from your higher taxes.

If you’d like to weigh in on these bills, which will likely be voted on this week, contact a member of the Labor Committee:

Rep. Peter Tercyak (D-New Britain)
Sen. Edwin Gomes (D-Bridgeport)
Sen. Cathy Osten (D-Sprague)
Rep. Louis Esposito (D-West Haven)
Sen. Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield)
Rep. David Rutigliano (R-Trumbull)
Rep. David Kiner (D-Enfield)
Rep. Kelly Luxenberg (D-Manchester)
Rep. Brandon McGee (D-Hartford)
Rep. Craig Miner (R-Litchfield)
Rep. Richard Smith (R-New Fairfield)
Rep. Kurt Vail (R-Stafford)


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