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. 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. To help us get there, I’ve provided numerous science-based resources from medical experts, and factual information from state agencies to help you navigate reopening in a way that is best for you and your family, all of which can be found on my Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepLinehan.
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 your work, our schools, or your opportunities, please call or email me anytime.
For the most up to date information visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
CDC COVID-19 Health Guidelines
While we continue along in our reopening process, the CDC and Governor Lamont are continuing to require individuals wear masks in public when you are unable to maintain a “social distance” of more than 6 feet away from others. For more information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.
If you are out of work, or not working as many hours as you did prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, you qualify for unemployment insurance. This includes self-employed individuals as well. Visit: www.FileCTUI.com to file your claim and let me know if you are having any difficulties. The Department of Labor has experienced an unprecedented surge in claims, but my team and I have had great success in expediting claims for my constituents. Please contact me for help.
We are working closely with the Department of Economic and Community Development on loans and resources to support small businesses. To learn more, visit business.ct.gov/Recovery or call the small business hotline at 860-500-2333.
If you notice a business not operating in a safe manner, call 2-1-1.
Rent and Mortgage Relief
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.
Support For Our Schools
I am working hard and fighting to obtain more resources for our community. On May 13th schools in Cheshire, Southington, and Wallingford were awarded $899,000 through the federal CARES Act to help offset unprecedented educational expenses brought on by the pandemic.
Additionally, I partnered with COX to award Mr. Eric Brinkman, 6th grade teacher at Highland Elementary, a $1000 Heroes of Distance Learning Grant to buy more technology for his web-based classroom. Thank you, Mr. Brinkman, for your support of our children during this challenging time.
Still Working For You
This has been a remarkably challenging time for all of us. My office has worked with nearly 700 constituents since March who have reached out for help with COVID-related issues. Whether it was to fix issues with your unemployment applications, help your business apply for financial aid, or restore your health insurance after losing your job, it has been an honor and pleasure to serve you.
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.
Remembering Tristan Barhorst
Our community suffered a devastating loss with the death of a beautiful 10-year old boy named Tristan Barhorst, in a tragic accident. So many have reached out, asking how to help. I ask that you join our community conversation on pedestrian safety, and know that I promise to introduce a pedestrian safety bill in Tristan’s honor. Together with his parents, I’ve partnered with Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center to research proven methods to increase child safety and accident prevention. We work best when we work together, so let’s have the conversation about moving forward, while we lovingly remember the sweet child we lost. Please keep an eye on my Facebook page for more information on how to get involved, coming soon.
Working For You From A Distance
When we began this year’s legislative session on February 5th , I expected to be working on many of our shared priorities including reducing the cost of health insurance, making it easier to exercise your right to vote, and holding our Education funding steady. As the Chair of the Committee on Children, I wrote and raised a package of bills to prevent child sex abuse, extend punishments for convicted sex abusers, decrease incidences of child suicide and more. These bills passed unanimously out of the Committee, but ultimately were derailed due to the COVID-related closure of the State Capitol. I promise that this work continues now, and will continue through any special session of the legislature this summer or fall, and into next year.
I continued to work in-district while the Capitol was closed, and have provided some updates below.
- In addition to helping almost 700 constituents with various issues related to COVID, I set up a district-only COVID Resource Hotline, helping to provide residents with access to food banks, unemployment insurance, health insurance and state services.
- I was also able to secure the ability for our local police to keep staffing at 100% by being able to temporarily hire retired officers if a department was sidelined by COVID infections, protecting public safety and ensuring there would be no lag in 911 police response times due to the Coronavirus.
- Additionally, I worked to protect over $61 million in state aid for the district, to hold the line on property taxes due to decreased aid and increased COVID-19 expenses for our municipalities.
- Last session, in response to a tragic incident in our schools, I passed legislation that helped create the Social and Emotional Learning Collaborative. This collaborative has been instrumental in making sure staff and educators are prepared to handle the unique situations that reopening our schools will create.
Small Business Assistance
Though the state has begun its reopening process, there are still many local businesses that are financially struggling and will continue to struggle as long as this pandemic persists. I have worked hard over the past three months to advocate for low-interest loan programs, tax relief, and rental support for our small business owners, to help them continue to operate and keep their workers employed.
- DECD resource page: ct.gov/Coronavirus/Information-For/Business-Resources
- DECD COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Line: 860-500-2333
- SBA Low-Interest Disaster Loans: sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
- CDC Business Guidance: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
- Small Business Development Center COVID-19 Business Resources: ctsbdc.com/covid19-businessresourcecenter
- Women’s Business Development Council virtual classes & counseling for those impacted by COVID-19: ctwbdc.org
- SCORE Small Business Resilience Hub: score.org/recovery/small-business-resilience
- For information on Phase 1, 2, and 3 Reopenings: ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Sector-Rules-and-Certification-for-Reopen
If you need any help navigating or applying for these resources, please let me know so I can help.