FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2024
Contact: Bryce Chinault
Gov. Lamont’s Proposed 2024 Budget Innovative in Part, But Less Helpful in Others
Gov. Ned Lamont should be commended for his continued commitment to preserving the integrity of the fiscal guardrails. Without them, our state would be running a $150 million deficit, according to the Office of Policy and Management. This would have perpetuated the unhappy cycle of inflicting budget cuts and/or tax cuts on state residents that characterized so much of the last decade.
The governor’s proposal also includes eliminating certain fees for educators, home childcare providers and health professionals. This will save 19,000 workers roughly $3.5 million annually. It’s a great start and bodes well for Connecticut improving its ranking from having 17th highest fees for lower-income licensed occupations among the 50 states.
Less helpful is the governor’s support for the paid sick time mandate on all employers. Although well-intentioned, this policy fails to consider the financial situations of struggling small businesses and the costs they will incur to comply with this mandate. We need to be making Connecticut more business friendly — not throwing obstacles in the path of our job creators.
Additionally, his proposal to cancel medical debt comes with considerable financial risks. If the ballooning college debt crisis is any guide, canceling medical debt will only encourage medical providers to raise prices for medical services, forcing taxpayers to pony up funds in subsequent years, because political precedence has been set, while hurting patients between bailouts.
The proposal to eliminate medical debt may be a better policy than the repeated calls to cancel student debt, but this policy will likely continue to incentivize health care providers to raise prices on those seeking care much like increased college funding has driven up student debt. Finding ways to lower costs, like repealing certificate of need laws, expanding telehealth, and expanding licensure reciprocity — along with the governor’s licensing fees reform — will help all Connecticut residents going forward.
However, Gov. Lamont’s proposal to offer an income tax credit to Connecticut residents working remotely for New York-based firms if they successfully challenge their tax obligations under New York law is an innovative idea. It marks the kind of creative leadership that can lighten taxes on some residents — who are still over-saddled despite last year’s historic tax cuts — while propelling our state forward.
For more information, please contact Bryce Chinault, [email protected] or (860) 426-6343.
For more ideas on how we can make Connecticut a more prosperous and dynamic place to live and work, please visit YankeeInstitute.org.
About Yankee Institute
Yankee Institute is a research and citizen organization founded in 1984 under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Yankee Institute is the eyes, ears and voice for hard-working people who want a prosperous Connecticut. Our common-sense solutions drive positive legislative results to strengthen our communities and build a vibrant, hopeful future.