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.
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 call or email 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, 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/delaCruz.
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, the state’s emergency alert system,
which provides text message notifications to users.
To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
Advocating For You During this Time
This has been 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 worked 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.
That’s why I have worked with my colleagues to advocate for all of you with the Governor and his administration. 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. If there are more ways that we can make state government work better for you, please let me know.
In early June, legislative leadership and the Governor agreed that it was time for members of the General Assembly to meet and pass reforms in response to the current crises our state now faces. In addition to ensuring that our residents have the resources to avoid catching COVID-19 and are adequately supported to cope with social distancing, we intend to ensure that everyone has access to absentee ballots in the November general election. We also intend to take immediate action on police accountability and transparency legislation in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office and make your voice heard as we work to manage the COVID crisis, expand voting rights and implement reforms to make for more accountable and transparent policing.
Change is Here!
Over the past weeks, I have attended multiple Black Lives Matter rallies and worked with the passionate young folks who have pushed this movement. I remain in awe of their power. Our youth have reminded us that anything is possible when you demand better. I am proud of our community for coming together and supporting each other through these amazing times. I will continue to work with our community and law enforcement to make our state and country fair for everyone. Our democracy depends on folks continually fighting for change, and I believe this movement will make us stronger and more united in the end.
Where Do We Go From Here?
While we continue to be guided by public health experts on the steps we need to take 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 we are working with farmers and food banks to protect and localize our food supply chain.
Your stories and experiences are important to helping us improve the quality of life for you. How well did the safety net work for you and your family? How can we do better? What services were not available that you really needed? I want to hear from you!
More than ever, it continues to be an honor and privilege to represent you.