CT Working Families 2020 State Policy Agenda

Connecticut Working Families released today their policy agenda for 2020 legislative session. The list of priorities seeks to improve upon several of the legislative victories from the past year, helping workers regain control over their lives. With these recommendations, Working Families is calling on legislators to make equitable economic growth their first priority, aiming to both reduce Connecticut´s extreme income and wealth inequality while making the state more competitive.

For the 2020 legislative session, CT Working Families organization will ask legislators to pass Fair Work Week legislation, a Green New Deal for the state economy, misdemeanor sentencing reform, and approve measures to reduce outsourcing in call centers.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Working Families Organization, CT:

Working Families has a clear vision for Connecticut: a place where all residents, no matter where they come from, where they live, who they love, or the color of their skin, have the opportunity to thrive.

Our state, however, is in the midst of an inequality crisis. Wealth is increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Our cities and towns are more and more segregated. As a result, working families struggle in an increasingly uncertain economy, living paycheck to paycheck, seeing very little of the prosperity they have created.

Our priority this session is to give workers in our state the stability, the peace of mind to get ahead so they can take control of their lives. Currently, hundreds of thousands of workers in our state have a job they cannot rely on. Instead of having a set, defined schedule, they work on-call; employers set work hours mere days or even hours ahead of time. This leaves workers with unsteady paychecks and unpredictable schedules, living in a constant scramble to find childcare, transportation, or time for their other obligations.

This is why we are calling legislators to pass a Fair Work Week bill to put an end to these practices, giving workers, especially the workers of color that are currently the most heavily impacted by unstable schedules, a chance to regain control over their lives. We will also push for a bill to limit outsourcing in several key industries, to further protect good jobs in our state.

We cannot properly address the needs of Connecticut families, however, without responding to the biggest threat facing us right now, climate change. We will advocate for a comprehensive Green New Deal bill to dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring that those impacted the most by the climate emergency, from low-income communities of color to displaced workers during the energy transition.

Working families have long struggled with rising medical expenses. In this legislative session, we will fight to put in place urgent reforms to fight against inflated prescription drug pricing and create a public option to ensure an affordable alternative to private for-profit insurance, offering a real, quality alternative to lower premiums and copays.

It is time for Connecticut to put working people first. Our legislative agenda aims to ensure that the successful reforms passed last year to provide working families with opportunity and stability, paid family leave and $15 minimum wage, are matched and made stronger by policies that will enable them to build on a solid foundation towards their future. The TRUST Act last year strengthened constitutional protections for undocumented immigrants last year. This session we want to make them stronger by reforming misdemeanor sentencing.

This is our vision for Connecticut: open, welcoming, sustainable, and fair; a state with a strong economy where everybody can thrive. By empowering the state´s most marginalized communities, tackling racial inequalities head-on, and building a more fair, equitable, green economy, we can build a stronger, more inclusive state.

Read the full legislative agenda below:

A new deal for Connecticut Families

Invest in Working Families – Connecticut’s working families represent the state’s most important opportunity to improve our economy. We need to invest in working families with higher-paying jobs with decent benefits and strong job security.

  • Pass Fair Workweek legislation ensuring predictable scheduling standards
  • Pass legislation extending notification periods when companies intend to outsource call centers.
  • Introduce reforms to allow Connecticut to regulate and negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
  • Create a public option insurance plan to lower costs, offering working families a real alternative to for-profit, private insurers.

Strengthen Racial Equality and Empower Marginalized Communities – Working Families is strongly committed to protecting undocumented immigrant communities in CT.

  • Reduce the maximum sentence for class A misdemeanors by a single day—from 365 days to 364 days—to limit some of the most disproportionate immigration consequences for Connecticut’s immigrants and their families.
  • Expand Husky A to cover undocumented immigrants

A Green New Deal to redefine the economy – We need to respond to the climate emergency that is burning our forests, flooding our coastlines, and endangering our future. Any response, however, must be based on equity, providing a green transition where no one is left behind.

  • Establish a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emission in the state to zero
  • Create programs and resources to support and protect marginalized communities most impacted by climate change.
  • Establish job training programs that ensure a just transition for impacted workers.