Bravo to Sen. Jonathan Harris, who is co-chairman of the Human Services Committee, for pushing through committee the idea of instituting an earned income tax credit for the working poor in Connecticut.
Minutes of a recent committee session show that Harris told colleagues that the idea “makes sense. It seems like a small amount of money, but it actually could make a big difference in the life of a family that is living penny to penny, minute to minute. It means a lot in a human scale.”
For someone making $20,000 a year, the minutes say, the maximum credit of $800 “is 5 percent of their income – a significant bump-up. Without creating another program, we are providing a way to put some money in someone’s pocket, to help the individual thrive,” Harris said.
Harris pegged the cost as between $50 and $55 million.
“This is an idea that has been proven to work on the federal level and the state level. It is a bipartisan idea, and I think we should move this to the Floor,” Harris said.
It passed the committee by a 13-6 vote. The minutes fail to reflect which lawmakers voted against the measure.
But Harris is right on the money that supplementing the income of the working poor is the best way to keep them working and giving them a chance to live the American Dream. We have way too many people struggling with crummy jobs, often part-time, that leave them with little money, little time and little hope.
Harris’ proposal, which few of them will ever know he pushed, is one way to make life better for people who deserve a break.