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.
David Arconti Jr.
For the most up to date information please visit:
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 energy assistance to bioscience innovation funds, to helping our schools deal with unexpected expenditures. For more on these, please visit my website: www.housedems.ct.gov/Arconti.
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.
Advocating For You During this Time
This has been a remarkably challenging time for all of us. My office has worked with so many of you to fix issues with your unemployment applications, help your business apply for financial aid and 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.
The Legislative Session That Wasn’t
When we began this year’s legislative session on February 5th , I expected to be working on many of the issues that you all have prioritized for me including reducing the cost of health insurance, making it easier to exercise your right to vote, and bringing back more support for our schools. As Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, I was deeply involved in consumer protection measures. I worked with Attorney General Tong and Governor Lamont to temporarily suspend service cutoffs in cases of nonpayment for households and businesses. We wanted to ensure that Connecticut residents didn’t lose electricity, gas, or water during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the few votes we took this year in the House of Representatives was for the bond act. I am proud to say that this legislation contained authorizations for state aid for our town. Below is the state aid to Danbury in the form of bonds and appropriated aid.
|State Funds to Danbury||FY 20||FY 21|
|Town Aid Road||
|Grants For Municipal Projects||2,398,201||2,398,201|
|Education Cost Sharing||
PILOT: State Owned Property
|PILOT: Colleges & Hospitals||1,401,114||1,401,114|
|Total State Funds To Town||41,850,779||44,573,391|
In addition, the bill contained funds for workforce development, launching the Paid Family Medical Leave insurance program and funding transportation improvements. It is now up to Governor Lamont and the Bond Commission to release these funds, and I will hold them to that.
Working to Protect Consumers
As the Energy and Technology Committee co-chair, I was directly involved in creating consumer protections legislation for electric consumers and championed HB 5225. This legislation protects electric consumers from poor third party contracts, and allows the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to order fines or restitution for transferring customers without prior approval. It also includes a provision that eliminates the cancellation fees from all third party electric contracts. Those fees are often what keep customers in bad contracts because the cancellation fee is usually greater than the amount of money that is being over paid in the contract.
I’m supporting the current proposal of Danbury Career Academy. The curriculum provides a holistic education approach and empowers students to obtain industry- recognized credentials as well as mitigating Danbury schools capacity constraints. I will advocate and push to secure state funding for this project in order to help save Danbury taxpayers’ dollars.