Yet House Bill 5591, "An Act Creating The Connecticut Retirement Security Program," narrowly passed the House at 2:58 a.m. (that is not a typo). The vote was 76-63, with 11 legislators absent and not voting. The bill needed 70 votes to pass, so the absent 11 legislators really made no difference.
This bill would establish a Connecticut Retirement Security Authority (CRSA), a quasi-public state agency tasked with establishing and implementing the Connecticut Retirement Security Program. The intent is to provide workers who do not have a company-sponsored retirement plan offered by their employer to have money taken from their paychecks and put into the state program, with the option to choose between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA.
A fiscal note on the bill says the impact on state revenue could be as high as $10 million. It also places a burden on employers to administer the allocation of funds from workers paychecks.
Why this is necessary when anyone can set up a Roth or traditional IRA without the state's help is anyone's guess. Putting the state in direct competition with a key industry in the state makes even less sense.
A number of legislators from our local delegation agreed. Voting against the bill were Reps. Al Adinolfi, R-Cheshire; Eric Berthel, R-Watertown; Craig Miner, R-Litchfield; Arthur O'Neill, R-Southbury; John Piscopo, R-Thomaston; Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck; Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott, and Lezlye Zupkus, R-Prospect. (Reps. David Labriola, R-Naugatuck, and Selim Noujaim, R-Waterbury, were absent and did not vote.)
There is still time to contact your senators and ask them to reject this unnecessary bill. You can cut and paste from the corresponding form on the Chamber’s website here.
Here are their email addresses:
Senate Democrats (1-800-842-1420)
Sen. Dante Bartolomeo: Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown
Sen. Joseph J. Crisco Jr.: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck, Woodbridge
Sen. Joan Hartley: Waterbury, Middlebury
Senate Republicans (1-800-842-1421)
Sen. Rob Kane: Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Roxbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury
Sen. Joe Markley: Cheshire, Prospect, Southington, Waterbury, Wolcott