For past Conference and Peer Learning materials go here
For Regional Meeting materials, go here
For past newsletters go here.
2019- CT Asset Building Priorities
Stable Families and a Strong Workforce
December 17, 2018
Since 2013, the Connecticut Asset Building Collaborative (CABC) has been the state’s leading organization to connect financial literacy practitioners and thought leaders to promote policies and practices that ensure stability for Connecticut families. The CABC supports Governor-elect Lamont’s proposals to increase the minimum wage and establish paid family and medical leave. These measures will increase the financial stability of Connecticut families, address growing economic inequality and build a robust workforce that can earn and save towards higher education, home-ownership, retirement and emergency saving funds. To maximize the impact of these policies changes, they must be bolstered with broad family economic security and workforce development initiatives. Ensuring the vigorous financial health of Connecticut families will enhance the state’s economy with a strong consumer base and reliable workforce for Connecticut businesses and employers.
The following summarizes CABC’s policy and best-practice recommendations to expand opportunities for Connecticut families and enhance the incoming administration’s policy agenda to raise the minimum wage and mandate paid family medical leave:
1. Support Financial Health of Low/Moderate Income Consumers
- Promote strategies to reduce the burden of consumer debt and increase savings.
- Increase publicity and expand the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
- Support replication of the Financial Empowerment Center model.
- Reduce/remove state imposed asset limits and benefit cliffs in public benefit programs that are disincentives for saving and employment.
2. Encourage Banks to Better Serve Connecticut Families
- Promote and replicate the New Haven BankOn program (a national model encouraging banks to develop safe and affordable accounts with no overdraft capability and assist consumers to learn about and access these accounts)
- Take steps to integrate BankOn options into state level programs that provide payments.
3. Complement the Increased Minimum Wage and Family and Medical Leave Benefits with Additional Workforce Supports
- Create a state-wide fund to assist employees with family crises and emergencies
- Support expanding access to benefits for traditional employees and the self-employed, such as buy-in to large group purchase health insurance pools and developing retirement savings accounts through the Connecticut Retirement Savings Board.
- Create tax-incentives for small business that can be used for workforce support and development.
For more specifics on best practices and recommendations - see our White Paper in PDF form as presented to the Lamont and Wooden transition teams here. For the paper with expanded information go here in the policy section of the website.
2018 – A Year In Review
We know two important facts about personal savings -- one, it can mean the difference between surviving a financial shock or not, and two, very few Americans have enough emergency savings to last them a month in the event of a crisis. This is particularly true of low-income individuals and families. While we hope to assist our clients with long-term financial planning and goals, the peer learning committee recognizes that helping our community build any kind of emergency savings is an essential first step towards greater financial stability.
For that reason, we focused our efforts in 2018 on how all organizations can work together toward the goal of savings. The CT ABC integrates partners who target different areas of need among low-income residents. Although as organizations we may train our sights on food access, housing, financial literacy, employment, transportation, heat assistance, and other social determinants, our clients experience all of these issues at once. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to join forces with a singular purpose and what better goal than to help individuals through our areas of expertise and in partnership to build an emergency savings fund.
CT Asset Building events and activities in 2018 included:
February 21 Peer Learning discussing “Why Savings?”
October 31 Peer Learning exploring how to better integrate social services with financial empowerment services.
November 8 Greater Waterbury Regional Meeting
CT ASSET BUILDING COLLABORATIVE EVENTS
For steering committee meetings, peer learning sessions and regional meetings - please go to the Events page.
For more information, come back to the website, or sign up for our emails and/or social media posts.
Engage with CABC on Social Media
This step onto the social media scene will increase awareness of the many asset building resources available and the profound impact they have, especially for low-income families.
- Follow CABC on Facebook and Twitter
- Share the page with your friends and colleagues to encourage them to follow us
- Tell us what we should be sharing by sending information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaborative Member Events
To post information about your organization's asset building event - send it to: CTAssetBuilding@gmail.com.
Policy and Program News
The Connecticut Scorecard --- Prosperity_Now_scorecard_PDF.pdf
Link to Prosperity Now Scorecard tool: http://scorecard.prosperitynow.org/ You can search this site for data by state, locality, issue and other factors.
What is Asset Building?
The Collaborative's members do work in the following areas:
Entrepreneurship and Business Development
Financial Access and Products
Financial Education/Coaching/ Credit Counseling
Housing Assistance and Homeownership
Jobs and Workforce Development
Savings for Adults and Children, IDAs
Tax Assistance and Credits (VITA)