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Connecticut Legislative News
Hartford Business Journal's 2021 Book of Lists includes an economic forecast section containing outlooks for the year ahead from various economists and industry experts. Here’s a look at what they had to say.
Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby today provided an update on the Emergency Coronavirus Recovery Act of 2020, known as the CARES Act extension. The law protects Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs; allocates an additional $300 per week benefit for all claimants for up to 11 weeks; extends the interest waiver for Trust Fund borrowing; and continues 100 percent federal funding for the Shared Work program.
Last year’s State of the State address seems like a long, long time ago. Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Senator Kelly, Representative Candelora, my fellow state officials, members of the General Assembly and the Judicial Branch, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, honored guests, and the people of the great state of Connecticut. Two years ago, as your new governor, you welcomed me into the “room where it happens.” This year, that room has become a “virtual room.”]
The Connecticut General Assembly opened its 2021 session in extraordinary fashion Wednesday, taking the oath of office in two socially distanced ceremonies on the grounds of the state Capitol, applauded by friends and heckled by protesters. On a day when the president of the United States was pressuring Congress to reject the votes of the American people, the leaders of the General Assembly were elected by acclamation, with minority Republicans pledging to help the majority Democrats make the session function.
Federal Legislative News
President Donald Trump on Sunday night signed into law the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill passed Dec. 21 by Congress. Trump had said he would not sign the bill because he wanted $2,000 stimulus checks for individuals instead of the $600 in the legislation. His signature Sunday came a day after unemployment benefits expired for millions of Americans and only hours before the federal government would have shut down due to a temporary funding bill expiring.
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule Wednesday to clarify the standard for determining whether a worker should be considered an employee or an independent contractor. The rule is one of many contentious regulations that the Trump administration has been rushing to finalize in its waning days and is likely to have an impact on labor relations, pay scales and benefits for workers. It also has an impact on the taxes they pay and whether taxes need to be withheld from their paychecks or simply reported on a Form 1099 and sent to them before Jan. 31. More companies in recent decades have been classifying their workers as independent contractors as opposed to full-time employees to save on salaries and benefits, and that trend has only accelerated in recent years with the growth of the gig economy.