On March 8th, Connecticut had its first confirmed case of COVID-19. On March 9th, the Governor declared a state of Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergencies. And our lives have been radically changed ever since.
However, my commitment to you and your family has not changed. We will get through this period, and I know our state will be stronger on the other side.
This newsletter is intended to provide you with helpful information and resources, as well as an overview of some of the work my office has been doing during this time.
If you have any questions, concerns, or if I can be helpful to you in working with any state agency or understanding how any of our state laws or regulations can affect your work, our schools, or your opportunities, please email or call me anytime.
For the most up to date information please visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
The CDC and Governor Lamont are continuing to require individuals wear masks in public when you are unable to “social distance” more than 6 feet away from others.
If you are out of work, you have the right to file for unemployment insurance. Visit www.FileCTUI.com to file your claim or call: 860-263-6975, 203-455-2653, 860-263-6974 or 203-455-2650.
If you are a business owner, the Department of Economic and Community Development is developing and updating guidelines on safe ways to operate your business: business.ct.gov/Recovery. They have also opened a small business hotline: 860-500-2333.
If you notice a business not operating in a safe manner, call 2-1-1.
If you are having trouble paying your residential mortgage or rent, we have worked with banks and landlords to provide you additional time to put together payments. For more information on these programs, please visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/information-for/homeowners-and-renters.
In addition, we have worked with the federal delegation and the Governor’s office to develop and fund a number of smaller assistance programs ranging from funding for artists to farmers, to helping our schools deal with unexpected expenditures. For more on these, please visit my website: www.housedems.ct.gov/Mushinsky.
I know working with state agencies and our partners during this time can be complicated. Phone lines are crowded, and applications may be confusing. My office is here to help. Call me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Advocating For You During this Time
It has been a remarkably challenging time for all of us. Working from my backyard during lockdown to communicate with staff, my office has worked with scores of you to fix issues with your unemployment applications, help your business apply for financial aid and work with the DMV to get your car registered.
More than 3,000 Wallingford residents needed unemployment payments. During these challenging times, we need government help and services the most. That’s why I have advocated for all of you with the Governor and his administration. I am proud to say we have expanded tele-medicine, brought additional COVID-19 testing sites to our area (New Haven CVS), expanded affordable childcare options for front-line workers and delayed due dates for state income taxes and municipal property taxes.
The Legislative Session That Wasn’t
When we began this year’s legislative session on February 5th, I expected to be working on many of the issues you all have prioritized for me including reducing the cost of health insurance, making it easier to exercise your right to vote, and bringing back more support for our schools to reduce the reliance on property taxes. This work continues now and will continue through any special session of the legislature this summer or fall. One of the few votes we took this year in the House of Representatives was for the bond act. I am proud to say that this legislation contained authorizations for state aid for Wallingford:
|FY 20||FY 21|
(Local Capital Improvement Projects)
|Town Aid Road||$538,986||$538,986|
|Grants for Municipal Projects||$2,739,896||$2,739,896|
In addition, the bill contained funds for workforce development, launched the Earned Family Medical Leave insurance program and funded transportation improvements. It is now up to Governor Lamont and the Bond Commission to release these funds.
Where Do We Go From Here?
While we continue to be guided by public health experts on the steps we needed to safely reopen, we also have an opportunity to build a stronger and more robust state. Already we are working to ensure hospitals and health care providers such as nursing homes have adequate stock of personal protective equipment and are screening for staff health. I’ve been referring residents to job training who may need to switch careers. And we are working with farmers and food banks to protect and localize our food supply chain.
Thank you for doing your part to help CT slow the transmission of COVID-19. We are now the leader in reducing transmission in the U.S. More than ever, it continues to be an honor and privilege to represent you!