On March 8th, Connecticut had its first confirmed case of coronavirus. On March 9th, the Governor declared a state of Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergencies. And our lives have been radically changed ever since.
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 in understanding how any of our state laws or regulations can affect employment, education, or any other opportunity, please call or email me anytime.
For the most up to date information please visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
Both the CDC and our state 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, 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/Walker.
I know that working with state agencies and our partners during this time can be complicated. Phone lines are crowded, applications may be confusing. My office is here to help. Call or email me anytime, and I promise I will get you help.
Sign up for CTAlert
For Text message Notifications
To subscribe, text the keyword
COVIDCT to 888-777.
Advocating For You
This is a remarkably challenging time for all of us. My office has worked with many 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. I know that it is during these challenging times when we need government help and services the most. I am proud to say that because of our advocacy, we have expanded tele-medicine, brought additional COVID-19 testing sites to our community, expanded affordable childcare options for front-line workers, and delayed due dates for state income taxes and municipal property taxes.
On Police Accountability
There are many reforms that must be made to adequately address the issues of police accountability, transparency, and racial equity. While we’ve passed laws in recent years, such as SB 380, that took steps in the direction of real reform, we can and must do more. I am confident that this summer’s special session will undoubtedly continue this push and hope you know that as your Representative I am committed to ending broken windows policies; expanding and giving voice to community oversight; implementing statewide independent investigations and prosecutions of police misconduct; and enacting measures that will allow for just punishment for officers who break the law.
On Connecticut’s Housing Crisis
While many of the bills I had hoped we’d be debating in the General Assembly that strengthen tenant protections now sit in limbo, we have seen the state expand the safety net and offer supports to those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic in ways not seen in decades. The Department of Banking has secured an extension on mortgage forbearance through July 30. Visit CT.gov/DOB for more on this and CT.gov/DOH for additional resources.
On Connecticut’s Employment Crisis
Our state has experienced one of the highest unemployment rates ever recorded in its history as a result of the pandemic. As Connecticut begins to reopen, not everyone will have an easy transition back into good paying jobs. If you are struggling with employment, visit ctdol.state.ct.us to file today. CT.gov also provides resources for those struggling to find work under the “Jobs and Employment” section. Lastly, my office is here to help so please do not hesitate to reach out if I can be of any assistance.
Where Do We Go From Here?
While we continue to follow the guidance of public health experts on the steps needed to safely “reopen”, we also have an opportunity to build a stronger and more robust state.
We are working to ensure hospitals and health care providers such as nursing homes have adequate stock of personal protective equipment. We are also working with farmers and food banks to protect and localize our food supply chain.
Your stories and experiences continue to shape the policies that I fight for. How has the safety net worked for you and your family? How can it be improved? What services are not available that you need? I want to hear from you.
It continues to be an honor and privilege to represent you.