AFL-CIO President Urges Finance Committee to Create Progressive Budget

HARTFORD – Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, testified on Friday before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee to urge the legislature to begin closing the wealth gap by passing a progressive revenue package.

“Our state is at a significant crossroads,” testified Luciano. “Decades of failing to honor our financial obligations and subsidizing fragmented, inefficient municipal government have pushed our state budget, and taxpayers who rely on high quality vital public services, to the limit. Political will has been in short supply to tackle these problems with most policymakers choosing to scapegoat public workers rather than ask everyone to pay their fair share. The result has been multiple austerity budgets and another multi-billion-dollar deficit. Enough is enough.”

Luciano gave credit to Governor Lamont for his proposals to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and establish a paid family and medical leave program. But he suggested that if Connecticut is serious about reducing inequality, the state must pass a revenue package that asks everyone to contribute according to their ability to pay.

“Rather than reducing the estate tax and eliminating the gift tax which only benefit the ultra-wealthy, we should raise the marginal rates on the state income tax,” said Luciano. “Rather than raising income tax rates on retired workers’ Social Security and pension payments, we should be taxing capital gains and dividends at higher rates while closing the carried interest loophole. Rather than taxing text books and non-prescription medications while eliminating the sales tax-free week upon which so many working families depend, we should be scrutinizing the billions of dollars in corporate tax expenditures the state doles out like candy.”

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Click here to read Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano’s testimony before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.