Until late Wednesday, Sen. Marilyn Moore figured the state’s innovative “baby bonds” program was on track to launch later this year with a $50 million investment by the state.
She was stunned to hear comments by Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget chief, who said while explaining the governor’s $25 billion spending plan for 2023-24 that the administration has no intention of making baby bonds happen. Not this year, not next year, maybe not ever.
To the Bridgeport Democrat – and many others including the newly elected state Treasurer Erick Russell — Connecticut baby bonds are one of the truly great, fresh ideas to come down the pike as a way to fight not just income poverty but the punishing lack of wealth that holds families back from one generation to the next.
Under the plan championed by former state Treasurer Shawn Wooden, some 15,500 babies born into poverty each year — whose mothers are on HUSKY Medicaid – would receive bonds worth about $3,200. After they turned 18, those babies, now young adults, could use the anticipated $11,000 value of the bonds for college expenses, retirement savings, a home purchase or an investment in a small business.
The plan was adopted by the state legislature in 2021 and signed into law by Lamont as part of that year’s budget. Connecticut was the first and several states have followed.
Sure, Moore knew the baby bonds program had been pushed back by two years from 2021 to mid-2023 as Lamont balked at it.
She had been a key character in a Jan.