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Gov. Lamont, lawmakers draft legislation to help federal workers during shutdown

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Stan Simpson: Politics In Connecticut

HARTFORD — Governor Ned Lamont, along with Democratic and Republican leaders, announced that they reached an agreement to adopt emergency legislation that will help non-essential and essential federal workers who are working without pay.

The goal is for the works to recieve unemployment help under a public-private partnership, reached between the state and private banks, alogn with credit unions that Lamont called earlier in the week.

The governor’s office sais the legislation is currently being drafted, and will be rleased as soon as it’s finalized. Lawmakers who to have the bill voted on next Tuesday.

Federal employees interested in the loans should contact their bank or credit union to determine whether it intends to participate in the program. If it is not, loans may also be available through a bank or credit union other than employees’ usual financial institution.

“Connecticut’s business community is stepping up to the plate to help our state’s citizens, who through no fault of their own are finding themselves unable to pay for essential bills to support their families,” Governor Lamont said. “This is an innovative partnership, and I want to commend the banks who are working with our administration to provide this assistance. I also want to thank the bipartisan leadership in our state legislature for working in good faith to come to an agreement and adopt the legislation needed to put this program into action.”

“Within the limits of state authority, it is imperative we do all we can for these federal workers who are being victimized by President Trump’s extreme and irrational policy,” Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney said.

“I applaud the governor for thinking outside of the box and developing a collaborative approach to assist workers who are facing challenging times,” Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said. “Uniting state and private sector efforts is an inventive way to achieve our shared goal of helping federal employees most in need. I appreciate the governor’s work to unite lawmakers on both sides of the aisle behind this solution. I also congratulate him on his openness to working with Connecticut businesses that are eager to help Connecticut residents.”

“These are our family, friends, and neighbors who by no fault of their own are being unfairly punished by a breakdown in Washington,” Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter said in a joint statement. “We appreciate Governor Lamont, the Connecticut Bankers’ Association, and the participating banks for finding a way to help those impacted by the shutdown, and we will take the action needed by the legislature in an expedited manner to move this forward.”

“I am proud to support the emergency legislation to assist federal workers in Connecticut most adversely affected by the continuing partial government shutdown,” House Minority Leader Themis Klarides said. “This is a bipartisan response that will positively affect hundreds of workers and their families.”

In addition to creating the loan program, the bill permits municipalities to defer property tax payments from impacted federal employees and prepares the state’s unemployment insurance system to offer benefits to essential workers if the requisite changes are made to federal law.

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