SEYMOUR - State Representative Theresa Conroy (D-Beacon Falls/Derby/Seymour), Rep. Linda Gentile (D-Ansonia/Derby) and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington) outlined a series of policy proposals House Democratic candidates are bringing to voters throughout the state this fall election season.
Proposals specifically designed to help seniors are featured prominently in the House Democrats vision for Investing in Connecticut’s Future, including exempting social security from the state income tax, improved access to healthcare, and programs to help people age independently in their own homes.
“This plan will make Connecticut a better place in which our seniors can live and retire,” said Conroy, an advanced practice nurse and member of the legislature’s Public Health Committee. “The proposals to support our community’s senior citizens, like exempting Social Security income from state taxes, supporting senior housing, and providing real retirement security, are critical to ensure that our seniors can afford to retire in Connecticut, close to friends and family, and with the dignity and respect that they deserve.”
“Our parents and grandparents worked hard to care and provide for us, and they deserve to be cared for as they age,”Aresimowicz said. “The proposals we are making, like eliminating the state income tax on Social Security earned benefits, making sure that family members can take time-off to care for a loved one, and ensuring that older family members can stay in their homes, will improve the quality of life for all Connecticut seniors.”
A press conference to help highlight the proposals was held at Seymour Democratic Headquarters, where area seniors expressed appreciation for having many of their concerns addressed in the House Democrats plan.
“I’m concerned about the affordability of our community,” said Gene Coppola, a former school superintendent in Seymour. “Exempting Social Security benefits from the state income tax is a real, workable solution that will help make it easier for retirees to stay in Connecticut close to friends and family.”
“I hear from my older constituents that they love Connecticut and want to spend their retirement here,” said Rep. Gentile, who serves as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. “This plan makes retiring in Connecticut more affordable by giving seniors a tax break that they need and deserve. Working together, we will make Connecticut the best place for our seniors to retire.”
Specifically, the House Democrats vision plan to help seniors include:
• Exempting social security payments from the state income tax to make Connecticut more affordable for seniors
• Expanding a state program that helps pay for home modifications such as grab bars, ramps, and stair lifts to allow more seniors to live independently, and avoid more expensive nursing home care
• Focusing on patient health, by convening all stakeholders - hospitals, insurers, patient advocates, community clinics, doctors, nurses - to better leverage taxpayer dollars, increase local healthcare options, and preserve community hospitals
• Supporting the thousands of skilled workers such as Home Health Aides, Visiting Nurses, and Homemaker Companions that help seniors remain in their homes
On a broader scale, featured in the House Democrats overall vision for Investing in Connecticut’s Future are job creation initiatives, fairer taxes, and a closer scrutiny of all state spending, including:
• Historic investment in the state’s vo-tech schools and community colleges to step up career development and directly match curriculum with employer needs
• Cap state bonding, except for economic development initiatives, to reduce long term borrowing and state debt
• Create an independent oversight board for transportation infrastructure projects to assess economic benefits and ensure taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently
• Establish a dedicated 1-800 number and an “Angel Investor” program specifically for small business to encourage growth and job creation in this critical economic sector
• Exempt new college graduates from the state income tax, and allow student loan debt to be deducted to encourage young people to live and work in Connecticut
(This is a press release from CT House Democrats)