New CAP Action Report Highlights Connecticut’s Successful Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class

New CAP Action Report Highlights Connecticut’s Successful Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class

Hartford – A new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, outlines state policies necessary to help state elected officials bypass federal gridlock and strengthen the middle class.

“Legislative leaders must make rebuilding our middle class and creating an economy that works for everyone our top priorities,” said Connecticut House of Representatives Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz. “This report collects concrete, common sense policies that will help state officials across the country achieve them.”

The report, “States at Work: Progressive State Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class,” offers more than 100 recommendations to create a significant number of jobs, boost incomes for a large percentage of the population and meaningfully cut costs for middle-class necessities among others.

Among Connecticut’s numerous successful policies are:

  •  Legislation requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide paid sick leave to each of their service workers at the rate of one hour of leave for every 40 hours of work, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year;
  • An extension of prevailing wage laws, long used to protect contracted construction workers, to protect low-wage service-sector contractors;
  • Requiring tipped employees to be paid 70 percent of the state minimum wage;
  • The expansion of workplace discrimination laws to cover transgender workers in 2011;
  • Explicit requirement of certain employers to provide reasonable accommodation to pregnant employees;
  • Legislation creating an 11-member task force to study the need for a public retirement plan;
  • Authorization of qualified undocumented students to attend state colleges and universities at the in-state tuition rates;
  • The creation municipal identification cards in New Haven, allowing undocumented residents to access services and empowering them to come forward as crime witnesses;
  • Mandatory foreclosure mediation; and
  • High state spending per child enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, more than $8,000 per student.

“The American Dream is based on the idea that working families deserve security, safety and opportunity for their children,” said Héctor J. Figueroa, president of 32BJ Service Employees International Union, the largest property services union in the country. “We have a responsibility as a society to keep the pathway to the middle class clear of unfair obstacles so that working people have access to good jobs with benefits, quality healthcare, affordable housing, and a decent education. This report shows that states’ efforts to protect working families have a powerful and positive impact, and should be expanded and encouraged.”

The report includes more than 100 policy reforms to:

  •  Improve the quality of existing jobs
  • Reform the tax code so that it raises sufficient revenue fairly and efficiently
  • Stabilize the housing market, ensure affordable rental housing, and help rebuild communities affected by the foreclosure crisis
  • Improve the quality of education for all students
  • Ensure affordable, quality health care for all
  • Rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure

Read the full report: States at Work: Progressive State Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class by Karla Walter, Tom Hucker, and David Madland. To speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Katie Peters at or 202.741.6285.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.

With more than 120,000 members in nine states, including 4,500 in Connecticut, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.


More to explore

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you consent to cookies being used. Visit our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Scroll to Top