Hartford, Conn. – Statement by Sarah Ganong, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Power, regarding the end of the 2023 legislative session in Connecticut.
“Despite holding the Governor’s office and large majorities in both chambers, Democrats failed to pass a meaningful legislative agenda to support working families this year.
Their moral failure is most visible on the state budget. After years of fiscal crisis, lawmakers had the chance to reverse cuts to social services, education, and healthcare to make economic, social, and racial justice a priority. Instead, legislators began the session by re-affirming the so-called fiscal guardrails that locked in deep cuts to higher education and mass transit, and flat funding or small funding increases (often well below inflation) to many critical social service programs. The desire for bipartisanship sets aside equity and social justice in exchange for unnecessary votes from the Republican minority.
This lack of commitment to the priorities of working families extended to other important legislation. Lawmakers failed to pass paid sick days, predictable scheduling, higher minimum wages for tipped workers, substantial affordable housing reforms, or healthcare legislation to provide coverage for undocumented immigrants up to age 26. In a cycle where purple state legislatures with very narrow democratic majorities have pushed forward ambitious legislation across the board, Connecticut Democrats instead allowed their most conservative members to take control of the agenda along with the minority Republican party – all to the detriment of Connecticut residents.
Our state deserves more than some small tax cuts and yet another austerity budget. We deserve an equity agenda and a moral budget that brings everyone to the table and has working families at its center. To achieve these goals, we need a legislature that listens to workers, not to corporations, their lobbyists, and the few Democrats who are closest to them.”