Select Senior Issues
(1) The loss of seniors is a particular burden to many of our towns, and a major concern to FSA. What role, if any, do you believe senior tax relief can play in alleviating this loss? What, if any, specific additional State senior tax relief measures are needed? Should we provide some level of tax relief for seniors who earn more than $100,000 as a couple ($75,000 joint)? Should we fix the current discontinuity in the tax relief rules, in which seniors become immediately ineligible when their earnings exceed the above-mentioned caps (the “cliff effect”)? Moreover, there remains an inequity in the treatment of IRA income.
(2) Recently enacted PA 22-18 permits only a phased in tax exemption on IRA income (other than Roth IRA income):
(3) The lack of housing options in Fairfield affects a growing portion of our current residents – beyond just seniors. Part of this solution lies in creating more middle housing solutions. FSA’s perception is that many State legislators are not working effectively toward meaningful housing solutions. How might we preserve the quality of life and home values while working more effectively toward shared solutions to the current shortage of affordable housing?
(4) What measures are needed to ensure the welfare and equitable treatment of residents with long term care needs? What steps should be taken to improve and ensure delivery and cost effectiveness of health care for older residents?
(5) A Community Ombudsman Program for Home Care was created as part of the State budget implementer (Section 7), which was recommended by the Senior Fraud Task Force. This program would be modeled after the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program which provides support, information and advocacy to seniors in institutional care. But, as successful as this current program is, they are overwhelmed and appear to be under-staffed. Both the Long Term care and the Community Care Programs need adequate funding. Would you support seeking additional funding for them, and, if so, would you sponsor/co-sponsor a bill to increase their funding?
(6) During the last Legislative session, the Task Force to Study Ways to Protect Senior Citizens from Fraud made several recommendations to the Aging Committee that were not implemented. One was SB-266 An Act Concerning a Registry of Persons Convicted of Financial Crimes Against Elderly Persons. Such Registry would be part of the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity’s Registry Repository. This bill had a joint favorable change of reference to the Judiciary Committee, where it did not come up for a vote. Would you support such a bill, and if so, would you be willing to sponsor/co-sponsor it?
Representative Keitt's Positions
"Tax relief plays an important role in making Connecticut more affordable for our seniors. Fairfield already offers the highest level of senior tax relief allowed under current state law but I believe we need to do more, especially for our middle-income seniors. Connecticut is currently enjoying a robust economy and record budget surpluses. I strongly support continuing paying down our pension obligations and putting a portion of our budget surplus towards tax relief for middle and low-income seniors.
I believe that the “cliff effect” punishes those seniors whose income just marginally exceeds the income limits but may not earn enough to be able to afford to remain in the state. I will support legislation to remedy this situation. I will also fight for marriage equality to that joint-filers are not penalized."
"Social Security is only meant to keep seniors out of abject poverty, it is not meant to be the sole mean by which seniors can live independently in a safe and healthy environment. With a national move away from employer-sponsored pensions, more and more seniors are relying on their IRAs to be able to pay for basic necessities like housing, heat, and healthcare. If elected I will support the immediate elimination of taxation on IRAs."
"As a member of Fairfield’s Town Plan and Zoning Commission, I am very familiar with the current housing crisis facing our seniors. I support developing more affordable housing for seniors – whether in the form of senior living communities or reforming 8-30g regulations to include set-asides for seniors in new developments. I would also like to introduce a livable homes tax credit that would provide up to $10,000 in tax credits to homeowners and developers who include accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps, zero-grade entrances, and bath and kitchen modifications in new or existing homes that would allow seniors to age safely and independently in their own homes."
"The pandemic exacerbated an already existing workforce shortage in the field of long-term care, endangering the health and welfare of our seniors. The state can begin to mitigate that shortage by creating pathways to good-paying jobs by offering tuition assistance programs for nursing and medical assistant training and certification.
The state can also play a role in improving long term care for seniors by adequately funding and staffing inspection of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), increasing the accountability of chain owners of substandard facilities, and providing clear guidelines and technical assistance to SNFs to help them improve their quality of long-term care.
When it is medically feasible to safely do so, I believe most seniors would prefer to receive long-term care in their homes. It is often more cost-effective and less isolating for patients. The State can support family caregivers by developing training programs for family caregivers, increasing allowable stipends, and funding more robust respite programs."
"I fully support additional funding for both the Long Term Care and Community Care Ombudsmen programs and would be willing to sponsor/cosponsor a bill to that effect."
"Our seniors are especially susceptible to fraud and financial abuse by both family members and unscrupulous professionals and con artists. I would support the development of a registry of those convicted of financial crimes against the elderly and would be proud to sponsor/co-sponsor such a bill."