Helping Unpaid Federal Workers

January 22, 2019

My first vote this session was on a bipartisan effort to assist about 1,500 of our residents who are federal employees and affected by the government shutdown. Today, the House passed H.B. 5765 that aims to provide unemployment assistance and interest-free loans of up to $5,000 to federal workers.

The legislation includes:

  • A no-interest state-backed loan program during the shutdown
  • Adjusting statutes for collecting unemployment compensation benefits
  • Allowing towns to extend their property tax/fee deadlines


The no-interest loans will be issued by various banks and backed by the state through CHFA. Interested federal employees should go to a participating bank to apply for the loan by showing proof of employment, income, and residence. (If they do not have the necessary documentation, the bank can allow the borrower to sign an affidavit)

Loans are available for an employee’s monthly after-tax pay up to $5,000 (borrower is capped at 3 of these loans) and loans will be reduced by the amount of any unemployment compensation received.

A 180 day/+90-day grace period loan payback schedule begins when the borrower’s agency is funded. The state will cover up to 10% of the total loans issued but deemed uncollectable by the banks


The bill changes state law, contingent on changes in federal law, to allow these federal workers to get unemployment. If they do collect unemployment, they are required to pay it back once paychecks are received from the federal government again.


Towns, by a vote of their legislative body, would be allowed to create a tax deferral program, to allow affected employees to pay municipal bills up to 60 days after the shutdown ends without interest or penalty.