Melissa Bailey file photo

New Haven’s Sen. Martin Looney, a long-time rallier for a state tax credit for the working poor, took hope in a vote that may bring cities an economic stimulus plan.

Looney has been rallying for a state version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit for over six years. The federal program, a tax refund for the working poor, has been touted by politicians red and blue, including Ronald Reagan, as the single most effective anti-poverty initiative. Formed in 1975 as a way to get the poor off the public dime and into the workforce, the federal program offers up to a $4,700 tax refund for people who pay income and payroll tax.

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