Working Families statement following Governor Lamont’s budget address

CT Capitol (2)

Hartford, Conn. – Carlos Moreno, Connecticut Working Families State Director, issued the following statement in reaction to Governor Ned Lamont’s budget address.

Carlos Moreno, State Director, CT Working Families:

“We are in the midst of an economic recovery that looks very different depending where you stand in the economy. Those lucky enough to work from home have fared well enough. But front-line workers, communities of color, and people in service jobs have become destabilized financially having borne the brunt of the pandemic. A boom on Wall Street doesn’t mean Main Street is thriving — in fact, we’ve seen the opposite here in Connecticut.

Connecticut currently faces an unprecedented economic downturn, a public health emergency, a growing climate crisis, and a reckoning with our deep economic and racial disparities. Each of these issues would represent a big challenge by itself in normal times. Today, they require immediate, bold action and leadership.

In his budget speech, Governor Lamont made clear that Connecticut’s recovery depends on addressing each of these crises. We agree with the Governor that putting an end to the pandemic, creating opportunity for everyone in the state, an economic recovery that works for all, and investments in green energy should be among our state’s top priorities. We also believe, however, that the immense impact of the current crises on working families and communities of color call for a more forceful response.

The Governor’s proposal to make healthcare more affordable doesn’t meet the urgency of the moment. The pandemic has clearly demonstrated the failure of our employer-sponsored health coverage system to support working families when there is a sudden, very high rate of unemployment. We need to expand healthcare far beyond what the governor proposed today if we truly want to make sure everyone has health insurance in our state. That means a strong public option, Husky expansion for immigrants and low-income earners, or, ultimately, single payer healthcare. We need emergency care, now.

Connecticut ranks second in income inequality and this wealth gap is starkly divided across racial lines. Any economic recovery plan must respond to these disparities. Connecticut must pass a fair state budget that invests in and provides meaningful tax relief to working and low-income families and puts them on a just and fair path towards economic recovery. We need a budget that will bridge the gap between the two Connecticuts. Today’s proposals by the Governor just don’t get us there at all.”