December 10th Newsletter

December 10, 2021
I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. 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.

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.


Applications for CT's New Paid Family & Medical Leave Program to be Accepted Starting January

I am pleased to announce that Connecticut's landmark Paid Family and Medical Leave Program applications are now being accepted for Connecticut residents who want to participate in the state’s program. Claims are being accepted for qualifying events that are happening on or after January 1, 2022.

Under the program, which the legislature passed in 2019, eligible workers will be able to take up to 12 weeks of time off work for certain qualifying events without losing income.

Connecticut is only the eighth state in the nation to enact a paid family and medical leave program. Currently, only 13% of private-sector workers in the United States have access to paid family and medical leave.

The program is administered by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority. Applications can be submitted starting in January 2022 through the website at or via email, fax, phone, or mail. The toll-free application hotline is 877-499-8606. 

Qualifying reasons to submit a claim include:
• Medical leave for a serious health condition including pregnancy, or serving as a bone marrow or organ donor
• Caregiver leave to care for a family member experiencing a serious health condition
• Bonding leave for a newborn child through birth, adoption, or foster care
• Family violence leave to get medical or psychological care
• Workers caring for injured military family members or a spouse’s military deployment
The amount of income replacement varies based on a worker’s earnings and is capped at 60 times the state minimum wage up to $780 per week. The combination of employer-provided benefits and benefits received under the paid leave program cannot exceed 100% of a worker’s normal weekly earnings.
For more information about the program, please visit


January Deadline for 2021 CT Tax Amnesty Program

I want to make sure you are aware of January 31, 2022 deadline for the 2021 Connecticut Tax Amnesty program, which gives people and businesses the chance to pay back taxes at reduced interest rates and with no penalties.

Here is how the program works and what it provides to people and businesses who haven't filed their taxes or underreported them for any tax period ending on or before December 30, 2020:

  • A 75% reduction in interest;
  • Penalties are waived;
  • Potential to avoid criminal charges;
  • All taxes administered by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (with the exception of the motor carrier road tax), are eligible for the program.

For more information on this program, you may click on the graphic above to visit


Energy Assistance Programs

Increasing fuel prices will present additional challenges for Connecticut residents to keep warm this winter season.

For those who need help, I want to share information on energy assistance services available in the state.

Some of the energy assistance programs available in Connecticut include:

  • Connecticut Energy Assistance Program: Administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services, the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), provides winter heating cost assistance to more than 75,000 income-eligible households every year, regardless of their heat source. People should contact their local Community Action Agency to apply. Statewide consumer and application information is available on the web at or by calling 2-1-1. CEAP has significantly higher benefit levels from a record $135 million in federal funding to help heat Connecticut homes. Both homeowners and renters can be eligible. CEAP helps enrollees afford the cost of natural gas and electric heat, as well as deliverable fuels like oil and propane.
  • Nonprofit heating assistance services: Operation Fuel and other nonprofits provide year-round emergency energy assistance to low-to-moderate-income households that don’t qualify for CEAP or who run out of CEAP benefits. Information is available at
  • COVID-19 Payment Plans for Utility-Heated Customers: The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has directed all regulated electric, gas, and water utilities in the state to offer COVID-19 payment plans, which both residential and non-residential customers are eligible to enroll in through the end of the public health emergency declaration. COVID-19 payment plans are available to any customer requesting financial assistance to facilitate the repayment of past due balances in addition to the customer’s current monthly bill. These plans require no initial or down payment or demonstration of financial need; can be up to 24 months in length; and waive any fees or interest in the calculation of the monthly payment amount. Customers can receive information on these payment plans by contacting their utility companies.
  • Electric Utility Bill Assistance from UniteCT: Established by Governor Lamont and administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing, UniteCT provides rental and utility assistance funding for those financially impacted by COVID-19. UniteCT has become a model for other states by successfully delivering more than $18 million to electric customers to date to help pay down their arrearages (back bills). Connecticut residents who rent their homes can apply through their electric utility company or municipal electric company.  For more information, visit
  • Winter Protection Program – Moratorium on Heating Source Shut-Offs: From November 1 through May 1, there is a moratorium in Connecticut on heating source shut-offs for eligible households. Customers should contact their utility and inquire about the Winter Protection Program, as well as other programs for which they may be eligible. More information is available from 2-1-1 by visiting
  • Energy-Saving Solutions – Energize CTEnergize CT can help customers save money on energy bills by providing advice, information, and financial incentives to make homes more energy efficient. For more information, visit
  • Consumer Protections Regarding Third-Party Electricity Suppliers: Over the past decade, Connecticut has enacted a series of consumer protections for customers of electric suppliers, including prohibiting variable rates and giving PURA the discretion to prevent customers who were designated as “utility hardship” from being switched to electric suppliers. Just this year, Governor Lamont signed Public Act 21-117, which prohibits cancellation fees for residential customers who are under contract with an electric supplier and strengthens PURA’s oversight over electric suppliers.

For further guidance on energy assistance programs available in Connecticut, please call 2-1-1. Please share this information with anyone that might need some help.


MACC Charities

With the holiday season and winter weather now here, please remember those in our community in need.  A donation to MACC Charities is a great way to help.  I received the following message from MACC this morning:
Just like you use bags for grocery shopping, we use bags to pack the groceries for our clients and we are running out. If any one has extra paper grocery bags please bring them to MACC Emergency Food Pantry @460 Main St, Manchester CT. Any amount will help.

To see the MACC Charities wish list, click the button below.

MACC Charities Wish List

Protecting Abortion Rights

More than 65 million American women could immediately lose access to an abortion in their home states if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the landmark case that established the right to seek the procedure nearly half a century ago.

Connecticut is one of a small number of states that have enacted laws affirmatively declaring a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Connecticut law provides that “the decision to terminate a pregnancy prior to the viability of the fetus shall be solely that of the pregnant woman in consultation with her physician." I will always continue to fight to preserve these rights.


Access Health CT Open Enrollment

The deadline for Access Health CT's open enrollment is January 15th! Looking to attend an enrollment fair? Visit today for additional information.

Remembering the Victims of Sandy Hook

This Tuesday will be the ninth anniversary of of the Sandy Hook School shooting. Please take a moment to remember the 20 first-graders and six teachers who we tragically lost that day.