August 13 Newsletter: Tax-Free Week, Manchester Little League

August 13, 2021
We are constantly working to provide updates and important news as it develops over social media and by email. This is a recap of some of this week’s highlights.

Below you can find information on the following topics:

  • Manchester Leading the Way in Connecticut
  • Racially Restrictive Covenants
  • Celebrating Manchester Little League
  • Tax-Free Week
  • Access Health CT
  • Funds for Special Education Services
  • COVID-19 Update

For more information about the state's response efforts visit To receive text message notifications, sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system. To subscribe, text "COVIDCT" to 888-777.


Manchester Leading the Way in Connecticut

I joined Governor Lamont in Manchester last week to discuss and show off our fantastic school construction achievements, including the soon-to-be first net zero energy school in the state! I'm so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in Manchester, and how the town and state have been able to work together to make it happen.

For more information on the project and the Governor's visit to Manchester, click HERE.


Racially Restrictive Covenants

Last Tuesday, I joined Fred Ware of Manchester and his son David as they recorded what we believe to be the first document in the state of Connecticut to be recorded formally remove racially restrictive covenants on real property from the land records. This was made possible by the passage of HB 6665 earlier this year, a bill I helped to draft with some help and inspiration from the Wares.

Click HERE to read more.


Celebrating Manchester Little League!

Congratulations to Manchester Little League for advancing to the Little League World Series in Williamsport!  A tremendous accomplishment, and I know you will represent our town well!   As a former coach to many of these boys I am especially proud! 

Tax-Free Week

Connecticut's 2021 Sales Tax Free Week is August 15th through August 21st. This is a great opportunity to save while preparing the kids for going back to school.
During this one-week sales tax holiday, retail purchases of most clothing and footwear items priced under $100 are exempt from the Connecticut sales and use tax. The exemption during Sales Tax Free Week applies to each eligible item costing under $100, regardless of how many of those items are sold to a customer on the same invoice.
Many retailers in Connecticut offer additional clothing and footwear discounts during Sales Tax Free Week, resulting in even more savings for shoppers.
Specific information on Connecticut’s Sales Tax Free Week, including a listing of individual items that are exempt or taxable, can be found by visiting the Department of Revenue Services website.

Access Health CT Extends Special Enrollment Period to October 31st

Access Health CT (AHCT) has extended the deadline for its Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to October 31st, making it easier and more convenient than ever for Connecticut residents to obtain a good, quality, affordable health insurance plan.

Nearly half of all Access Health CT customers are paying less than $50 per enrollee per month for their health insurance plan thanks to newly available financial help made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Additionally, some Connecticut residents may be eligible to pay $0 for health insurance through AHCT's new Covered Connecticut Program. Those who qualify can continue to enroll after October 31st. To enroll in Covered Connecticut, call the Access Health CT Call Center at 1-855-805-4325, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
To be eligible for the Covered Connecticut Program, Connecticut residents must:

  • Have at least one dependent child in the household under age 19; Children age 18 must be a full-time student in secondary school.
  • Be eligible for Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) and Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs).
  • Use 100% of APTCs and CSRs available to them, along with the expanded American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) financial assistance.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible Silver Level Plan.
  • Have a household annual income that is greater than 160%, and up to and including 175% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Also, please remember Access Health CT will continue to offer free help: 

  • Online: (Live chat: click “Live Chat” icon).
  • Phone: 1-855-805-4325, Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you are deaf or hearing impaired, you may use TTY at 1-855-789-2428 or call with a relay operator.
  • In-person help at either of AHCT’s Navigator partner locations*:  

*Please note: In-person locations are by appointment only with strict safety protocols (mask-wearing, hand sanitizing, temperature checks, social distancing, and standard health questionnaire).
If you need good, quality, affordable health insurance, sign up today through Access Health CT. Don’t delay!


$16 Million for Special Education Services

This week, more than $16 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II (ESSER II) funds was made available to 170 school districts across Connecticut. This relief money will allow schools throughout our state to provide special education services to more than 80,000 students during the upcoming school year.
The ESSER II funding is critical to supporting equitable learning opportunities for students with varying educational needs. The more than $16 million in funds was set aside by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) to supplement local special education COVID-19 recovery efforts through several initiatives piloted last school year by some of the recipient districts.

Where the money will go:
Addressing Delayed, Interrupted, Suspended or Inaccessible Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Supports and Services: Up to $13 million in funds will assist districts with addressing delayed, interrupted, suspended, or inaccessible IEP supports and services for students with IEPs in each school district.
Special Education Evaluations: Up to $1 million in funds will increase the capacity of state’s six Regional Educational Service Centers (RESC) to assist school districts in conducting special education evaluations, which will benefit approximately 240 students, as well as planning and placement teams.
Supplementary Tutoring and Reading Instruction: Up to $2 million in funds will assist 170 districts with supporting supplementary tutoring and reading instruction to address the needs of 3,092 students with an IEP and a primary disability category of SLD/dyslexia in alignment with the reading goals in the student’s current IEP.
Individualized In-Home Support for High Needs Students: Up to $272,000 in funds will provide for 8,000 hours of individualized in-home support through partnership with the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services to provide 1:1 in-home assistance and support for up to 200 students.
More than 50,000 students in Connecticut have already been impacted by these grants, with an emphasis and commitment on children and communities most impacted by the pandemic. I will remain committed to fighting for accessible enrichment programs and funding for all students throughout our state.


COVID-19 Update

With the delta variant taking off around the U.S., the federal government updated its masking guidelines for fully vaccinated people last week. The new advice is to mask up indoors if you live in a place with "substantial" or "high" coronavirus transmission. (The guidance for people who are unvaccinated remains the same: Always mask up indoors in public places.) With all counties in Connecticut now labeled areas of "substantial" transmission, let's do our part and keep each other safe!

For more information, please visit: