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Photo of Senator Bob Duff.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER

Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

Removing Barriers to Employment

Last week my bill removing barriers to employment by reforming the state's occupational license laws was signed into law.

The law takes effect January 1, 2018 and phases out occupational licenses for jobs that don't have educational or professional prerequisites. Currently, Connecticut has many occupational licenses that workers are required to pay a fee to obtain, even for certain occupations that have no educational or certification requirement. In these cases, such licenses amount to a fee on an occupation. This bill removes barriers to employment while still maintaining health and safety protections for consumers.

Senator Duff with mechanic

Tearing down barriers to employment and creating career opportunities is critical to Connecticut's economy. I have heard from small-business owners from around the state about the need to cut red tape. This new law will make it easier for people to enter the workforce and earn a livelihood.

The new law will eliminate multiple occupational licenses, registrations and certificates, including those for the following occupations: above-ground swimming pool installer, uniform student athlete agents, licensed shorthand reporters, itinerant vendors license, wholesaler's salesman certificate, residential flat glass or automotive glazier and real estate intern.
 

Farmers' Market on Your Mind?

Here's a guide, plus a few others:
2017 Guide to Fairfield County Farmers Markets

Norwalk Community Health Center: Wednesdays 10-3
St. Paul's on the Green: Thursdays 11-2
 

Phone Scammers Posing as IRS Agents

Connecticut residents should stay on high alert for telephone callers who pose as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents and attempt to get an immediate tax payment.

The scammers tell potential victims that they owe the IRS money and will face arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or from local police if they do not pay. Complaints from residents about the scam phone calls have persisted over the past few years.

IRS Impersonation SCAM

If you get a call from an aggressive, belligerent or insistent person who says you will be sued or jailed if you don't make an immediate payment: suspect fraud.

Generally, the IRS and Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) send taxpayers billing notices through the mail before ever calling. If you need to make sure a call is legitimate, hang up and call the number on the agency's official website.

It is important for residents to be on guard and to never provide payment or personal information to these scammers.

The IRS advises you to do the following if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:

  • If you know you owe taxes, or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS can help you with a payment issue, if there really is an issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you owe taxes, then report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) by filling out the "IRS Impersonation Scam" form on TIGTA's website, www.tigta.gov, or by calling 1-800-366-4484.
  • If you've been targeted by this scam, you can also file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, and add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

The Connecticut DRS and the IRS do not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media to request personal and financial information such as PINs, passwords, credit card, banking or other financial account information. Fraudulent emails purporting to be from the IRS should be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5420, the Department of Consumer Protection at 800-842-2649 or the Department of Revenue Services at 860-297-5962.