The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that CARES Act emergency aid grants for college students will not be taxed as income.
- provides FY2020 emergency supplemental appropriations to federal agencies;
- provides payments and other assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments;
- provides additional direct payments of up to $1,200 per individual;
- expands paid sick days, family and medical leave, unemployment compensation, nutrition and food assistance programs, housing assistance, and payments to farmers;
- modifies and expands the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations;
- establishes a fund to award grants for employers to provide pandemic premium pay for essential workers;
- expands several tax credits and deductions;
- provides funding and establishes requirements for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing;
- eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments;
- extends and expands the moratorium on certain evictions and foreclosures; and
- requires employers to develop and implement infectious disease exposure control plans.
- Medicare and Medicaid,
- health insurance,
- broadband service,
- medical product supplies,
- student loans and financial aid,
- the federal workforce,
- veterans benefits,
- consumer protection requirements,
- the U.S. Postal Service,
- federal elections,
- aviation and railroad workers, and
- pension and retirement plans.
In Connecticut, our General Assembly—composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives—convene for regular sessions in the winter and spring. In even-numbered years (like 2020), the General Assembly is in session from February to May. In odd-numbered years (like 2019), when the state budget must be drafted and approved, the regular session runs from January through June.
During the months when the General Assembly is “in session,” CAA has sometimes called our members to action to support (or sometimes oppose) a proposed bill. In April 2019, we held an Advocacy Day with the Tourism Coalition in the State Legislative Office Building, and we invited CAA members to participate.
During the in session period (in odd-numbered years), much focus lies on debating the state budget. In addition, bills that affect the arts and arts education may be proposed, referred to committee, debated, “die” in committee from inaction, or move through the legislative process to become law.
But what about the “out-of-session” months? Between June and January, much can be done to advocate for the arts, arts education, and each of our organizations individually. Here are some suggestions:
- Add your legislators to your mailing list. To find your current representatives and senators, click here. State legislators in office now are not up for re-election until 2020. (All State Senators and Representatives in Connecticut have two-year terms with no term limits.)
- Invite your legislators to performances, special events, and openings. Introduce them and, when appropriate and if time allows, invite them to speak briefly if they’d like.
- Invite your legislators for a tour or meeting outside of your normal performance or event schedule. This allows for more in-depth conversation about your organization, their work in the General Assembly, and issues that are important to you.
For tips on how to contact your legislators, click here . All of these advocacy actions will help you to get to know your legislator now so that you’ll have an established relationship during the in-session months when we may call on them to support us and the arts industry. That established relationship may be key to getting a quick response, an open ear, or even their vote.
Chamber Legislative Alert!!
Lawmakers could vote at any time on a new state budget and tax package that reportedly includes a $53 million income tax hike on most small businesses.
Last year, the legislature implemented a new tax on pass-through entities (LLCs, LLPs, partnerships, sole proprietorships, S Corps) with an offsetting income tax credit to mitigate federal caps on state and local tax deductions.
However, that program—meant to support Connecticut small businesses—is now being targeted as a new source of revenue to help fund ever increasing state spending.
Ask them—where are the spending cuts? Why are they targeting Connecticut small businesses? And tell them to oppose any additional burdens on small businesses, the engine for job growth in Connecticut.
Take Action Now!!
Last week, Connecticut lawmakers passed the most aggressive minimum wage hike in state history. Minimum wage will go to $15 per hour over the next 5 years. How are you preparing to make these changes? Have you considered what you will do for the employee that is working for you now that is making $15 per hour? Will you increase their pay also?
Businesses have serious concerns about these higher labor costs, with some going as far as to say they will relocate to another state. Several of our members have closed shop and moved to save money and to be able to operate without as many restrictions and taxes.
But the minimum wage hike is a drop in the bucket compared to Senate Bill 1, the paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
This week, the state Senate will take up SB 1. YOU NEED TO CALL OR WRITE YOUR LEGISLATORS NOW!
If this bill is passed, employees at every Connecticut business will have up to 12 weeks of paid leave each year to care for their own or any extended family member’s illness.
Workers will see their pay deducted—but it won’t be enough to sustain the program. The money deducted each year from their pay will not cover their 12 weeks of pay while they are on leave. So who will?
Businesses will pay for this through taxes and eventually direct fees. The rate employees will pay will be increased. And these rated don’t include the cost for hundreds of state employees, wages and benefits, to run and supervise this program.
Small businesses already struggle daily with their workforce. It is difficult to find good employees who come to work. FACT: the state chose to exempt itself from this legislation. Why is that? So they don’t have to worry about how to fill shifts vacant from those on paid leave? Don’t state employees get sick, have babies or care for their family members?
Help stop this bill now.
Contact your lawmakers and tell them enough is enough. Stop adding to the cost of doing business in Connecticut.
This is the link: https://www2.cbia.com/ga/get_involved/contact_ct_legislators/-A1