Thomas Breen / New Haven Independent photo

Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz, Democratic nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, visited the West Hartford Senior Center to discuss their agenda to support Connecticut’s aging population, including a proposal to reduce the property tax, expand at-home care for seniors and establish a paid family and medical leave system.

Connecticut’s population is aging – the population of those over 65 will increase from 16 percent in 2015 to 21 percent in 2025.

“Seniors are the anchors of our communities, and it’s our job to deliver for our seniors. We need to make it easier to retire and stay in Connecticut, because no one should feel forced out – not businesses, not their employees, and certainly not senior citizens who have lived their lives here and contributed to our state,” said Lamont. “Under Stefanowski’s tax scheme, senior centers will close and services will disappear. As governor and lieutenant governor, Susan and I will work with voters to make Connecticut competitive with its neighbors and a better place for people of all ages to call home.”

While Lamont and Bysiewicz are looking at common-sense solutions in keeping with Connecticut values, Republican opponent Bob Stefanowski intends to provide tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy and endorses the Trump administration’s attack on the Affordable Care Act, which has lowered premiums and drug prices for hundreds of thousands of Connecticut seniors. Stefanowski’s tax scheme would force property taxes to skyrocket, deny healthcare coverage to hundreds of thousands of seniors by ending Medicaid as we know it, and drive families out of the state by eroding education quality.

“Our seniors have worked here, created memories here and raised their families here. It’s important they stay here. With Connecticut’s senior population slated to increase over the next few years, we need to make sure we implement policies that will lessen the financial burden placed on the elderly and will help them stay in their homes,” said Bysiewicz. “As governor and lieutenant governor, Ned and I are committed to working together to ensure Connecticut remains a place where our seniors can afford to live and their families can thrive.”

The Lamont-Bysiewicz plan includes proposals to:

  • Reduce the property tax burden on Connecticut’s seniors and municipalities. Property taxes in Connecticut are too high, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made that problem worse by eliminating funding for municipal circuit-breaker program that helps 50,000 senior homeowners. Lamont will reverse that Malloy tax increase.

  • Provide new property tax relief to tens of thousands of senior renters by expanding state funding for the property tax circuit-breaker program.

  • Expand home- and community-based services so that seniors who prefer to can age in place rather than move into institutions. Home-based care not only is preferable to seniors, but also improves health outcomes, and reduces costs to seniors, their families, and the taxpayers. Connecticut sends many more seniors in need of long-term services and support to institutions than most states do. Replicating successful, low-cost interventions – such as the home visits and home improvements by teams of nurses, occupational therapists, and handymen pioneered by Johns Hopkins CAPABLE pilot – will prevent falls and allow elderly residents to live at home in safety and with dignity.

  • Guarantee Obamacare protections in Connecticut law so adults over 50 are safe from sharp increases in their health care premiums, even if the ACA is repealed by Congressional Republicans or struck down by an increasingly radical Supreme Court.

  • Enable independent living by promoting public transit and transit-oriented development.

  • Establish a paid family and medical leave system to ensure residents can care for elderly family members without sacrificing their own financial security.

  • Rejuvenate the economy so that Connecticut families can stay in Connecticut, get good jobs, and raise their families here. Seniors’ quality of life will improve when their children and grandchildren have access to economic opportunity and choose to build their lives in Connecticut.

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