Session Recap for the Week of July 7

July 7, 2023

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Dear Neighbor,

Great news for first-time homeowners! An additional $20 million has been added to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority's (CHFA) Time To Own Program. Funding for the program - which offers down payment assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyers in Connecticut - now stands at $80 million, with over $21.5 million currently available for loan reservations.

Eligibility requirements for the program include:

  • Meeting financial need specifications
  • Qualifying for and receiving a CHFA first mortgage
  • Being a current resident of Connecticut and demonstrating residency for the most recent three years

The impact of this program will reverberate in the short- and long-term for Connecticut residents; not only will there be a new generation of homeowners, but these residents will begin the process of building inter-generational wealth to pass on to the next generation.

Other benefits of the program include:

  • A 0% interest rate with no monthly payment required
  • 10% of the loan balance forgiven annually until it is fully forgiven on the tenth anniversary
  • Financing for up to 20% of a down payment and 5% of closing costs

Part of what makes Connecticut great is that we seek to lift up all residents, regardless of income or background. This program is one more example of that commitment to our community.

New Laws In Effect July 1st
A number of new laws that my colleagues and I worked on during the 2023 legislative session to implement meaningful change in our state will take effect today. 

⚖️ Early Voting
Voters will now have 14 days of early voting for general elections, 7 days of early voting for most primaries, and 4 days of early voting for special elections and presidential preference primaries.  

⚖️ Voting Rights Act
This new law prohibits intimidation, deception, or obstruction related to voting and allows aggrieved parties to seek remedies in court.

⚖️ Debt-Free Community College Eligibility Changes
This law extends eligibility for the state’s debt-free community college program to returning students by removing requirements that a qualifying student must be a first-time enrollee at a community-technical college and awards must be applied during a student’s first 48 consecutive months, thus allowing returning students to receive the award if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

⚖️ Baby Bonds
Under the law, $3,200 would be placed in a trust on behalf of each baby born into HUSKY, the state’s Medicaid program, starting July 1. Those investments would grow over time and recipients could access that money between the ages of 18-30.

⚖️ Endometriosis Data and Biorepository Program
This law requires UConn Health Center to develop an endometriosis data and biorepository program to enable and promote research on early detection and ways to manage the condition in adolescents and adults.

⚖️ Menstrual Products
Certain public agencies will start providing free menstrual products including public colleges and universities, homeless and domestic violence shelters that receive state aid.

Summer At The Museum Program
This program has been such a hit - I'm excited to see it returning for 2023!

CTSummer at the Museum was established in 2021 in response to the\  pandemic as a way of providing children with engaging enrichment and learning experiences during the summer months. Now in its third year, it is funded through a $10 million investment in federal COVID-19 recovery funding Connecticut received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

This year, more than 120 museums statewide are participating! children ages 18 and under – plus one accompanying adult – can receive free admission to any of the participating museums, including historic house museums, historic sites, historical societies, art museums, children’s museums, science centers, special-interest museums, natural history museums, university museums, arboretums/botanical gardens, and zoos.

📅 Saturday, July 1, 2023 - September 4, 2023
🔗 Check out the full list of participating sites here:

E-Bike Incentive Program
Just in time for your summer adventures! 🔋🚲

Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has launched their eBike incentive program where Connecticut residents can get a rebate on their purchase! 

An additional $1,000 voucher will also be available to Connecticut residents that meet any of the following criteria:

🚲 Must reside in an Environmental Justice (EJ) community or Distressed Municipality.

🚲 Participate in a state or federal income qualifying program.

🚲 Have an income less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

Find more information here:

Staying Safe in the Heat 
CT is feeling the heat! Here are some safety tips to keep in mind during the extreme heat advisory.☀️🌡
During periods of extreme heat, cooling centers are often opened up at the local level. These cooling centers provide a place to cool off for members of the community especially those most impacted by extreme heat.
If a city/town has opened a designated cooling center, United Way-211 lists the site location and hours on their website.

Learn more and find cooling centers here:


Michelle Cook

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