It has come to my attention that some local businesses in the towns I represent may not be abiding by the closure rule, allowing patrons to gather in public against the advice of health experts and against the direct authority of the government. Putting your own desires before the wider community good is not an expression of your freedom or your rights as an American, as I have read on Facebook as justification for these violations.
The Connecticut Department of Labor has been working as quickly as possible to process the unprecedented amount of unemployment claims it has received since the start of this pandemic. The DOL has processed more than 350,000 of the 420,000 applications it has received since mid-March. This incredible turnaround is due in large part to dedicated staff and updated software that has hastened the process.
Governor Lamont recently announced that Connecticut - in partnership with seven other states - has worked to secure relief for those who have student loans through private lenders and are not covered by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
I have heard from many of you who feel frustrated by how your unemployment claims are being processed.
The Department of Labor, which has been working with reduced staffing numbers and the antiquated software system COBOL, has been simply swamped as never before. For perspective, the DOL received in 18 days more claims than in all of 2019. I realize this may be cold comfort, but it does help explain the lag time, so please try to be patient as they are working day and night to process your claims.
With everything going on, you should not need to worry about being evicted or struggling to put together money for rent if you are out of work because of the COVID-19 crisis.
At my urging, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 7X today to provide some relief to renters.