Posted on May 7, 2020 by admin
Friends and Neighbors,
Governor Lamont this evening announced Executive Order 7JJ
The Order continues benefits for certain homeowners’ programs, authorized remote classes for DEEP, extends the period of validity of approval or permits issued by a municipal land use agency or building official, and allows municipalities to avoid certain in-person requirements for essential business operations.
The governor also announced he has received recommendations on a plan to reopen Connecticut colleges and universities in phases, starting as soon as this summer, and announced free assistance for Connecticut residents with student loans who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Executive Order No. 7JJ enacts the following provisions:
To watch the full video of the governor’s afternoon press conference, please click here:
More information and the governor’s full press release can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/05-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-May-6
Governor Lamont Receives Recommendations for a Phased Reopening of Colleges and Universities in Connecticut
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has received a detailed report containing recommendations for a phased reopening of colleges and universities in Connecticut in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report was prepared by Rick Levin, former president of Yale University, and Linda Lorimer, former vice president of global and strategic initiatives at Yale University, both of whom are the co-chairs of the education committee of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group. Representatives from the committee who consulted on the report include:
The recommendations include the gradual reopening of higher education campuses over the course of the summer – at the discretion of each institution – based on the type of educational programs offered and whether they provide residential services. By the fall semester, if prevailing health conditions permit, all of the sector may reopen, although institutions will be free to decide whether they need more time for certain programs to restart.
The reopening of any higher education institution will need to be phased based on the varied nature of the activities on its campus. For example, research operations function similarly to the operations of a place of business and can be restarted relatively quickly. Likewise, community colleges are easier to open than fully residential colleges, where the challenges are much greater given that students live together in close quarters.
The recommended sequencing of the reopening of colleges and universities would be as follows:
This sequencing is dependent upon several public health conditions that must be met. Some of these prerequisites include:
In order to reopen, each higher education institution would be required to file reopening plans with the Connecticut Department of Public health, detailing how they propose to:
Approximately 190,000 students are enrolled in higher education institutions in the state, and they employ about 45,000 of residents. Most colleges and universities in Connecticut have not shut down their teaching during the spring semester, but rather have employed online methods to continue educating students.
More information can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/05-2020/Governor-Lamont-Receives-Recommendations-for-a-Phased-Reopening-of-Colleges-and-Universities
Governor Lamont announces federal approval of increased SNAP food assistance for children in school meals program
With in-person classes at all preK-12 public school facilities in Connecticut now canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, Governor Lamont today announced that the state today received federal approval to provide $95.5 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to children eligible for the free and reduced-price meals program. The new federal authorization boosts the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program in Connecticut by $26.2 million over the original amount that was geared toward a May 20 school reopening.
Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the P-EBT program is expected to bring food benefits to about 270,000 Connecticut children who are not able to receive meals at school. All families in the 181 school districts in Connecticut participating in the federal free or reduced-price meals program are eligible to participate. This number is comprised of 162 public, charter, and magnet schools, 11 private schools, and eight residential child care institutions.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) estimates that it will issue approximately $46.3 million to 70,000 SNAP-eligible households and $52.2 million to 80,000 non-SNAP-eligible households for school closures dating from March 17. DSS is partnering with the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) on the plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
More information can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/05-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-May-6
Small business owners and workers asked to provide input on reopening efforts
Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman is encouraging small business owners and workers to fill out two surveys to help gather important insight on the state’s reopening efforts:
Both surveys were launched by the nonprofit organization AdvanceCT, which works in collaboration with the state to engage, retain, and recruit businesses and advance overall economic competitiveness in Connecticut.
Joint federal-state task force formed to combat COVID-19 fraud in Connecticut
Attorney General William Tong, U.S. Attorney John Durham, representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo today announced the formation of a joint federal-state task force combatting COVID-19-related fraud in Connecticut. The task force will investigate and prosecute a wide range of misconduct related to the pandemic, including price gouging, health care and government program fraud, consumer and small business scams, lending scams, charities fraud, and cyber fraud. Violators may be subject to civil fines and penalties, as well as state or federal criminal prosecution.
Connecticut residents may report COVID-19 related fraud to the task force by contacting the Office of the Attorney General via email at email@example.com or by calling 860-808-5318. The Office of the Attorney General is coordinating closely with prosecutors and investigators at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Chief State’s Attorney’s Office on criminal and civil fraud cases. In addition, residents may report COVID-19 related fraud to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by visiting www.justice.gov/disastercomplaintform.
For more information, read the press release issued today by the joint state-federal COVID-19 fraud task force.
Governor Lamont Announces Free Advisory Support for Student Loan Borrowers
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont announced today that Summer, a social enterprise that assists student loan borrowers, is providing Connecticut residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with free assistance managing their student loans.
As a certified B Corp, Summer is the leading resource for borrowers to simplify and save on their student debt – offering cutting-edge tools and a dedicated team of student loan experts to find, compare and enroll in dozens of loan assistance and forgiveness programs. Connecticut residents can now access Summer’s digital platform free of charge and receive customized loan savings recommendations by visiting meetsummer.org/covidrelief.
While the U.S. federal government has taken the important step of pausing payments on all Federal Direct loans, millions of borrowers have continued to make payments on private student loans and commercially-held FFEL and Perkins loans that were excluded from the CARES Act.
On April 21, Governor Lamont extended relief options to many Connecticut student loan borrowers with loans excluded by the CARES Act, halting late fees and offering a three-month, opt-in pause on payments, among other benefits. Today, Governor Lamont is supplementing this initiative with the smart, hands-on support provided by Summer’s digital platform and team of student loan experts, ensuring more favorable repayment outcomes for Connecticut borrowers in need of assistance.
Borrowers who are either unemployed or have experienced a significant salary reduction could be eligible for a $0 or very low monthly payment in a federal Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. With the average borrower paying approximately $300 per month on student loans, an IDR plan can result in an annual savings amount of $3,600 – three times the amount of the $1,200 stimulus checks. Similar to tax software, Summer’s digital platform can help Connecticut residents check their eligibility across IDR plans and automatically complete the application if they qualify.
Summer is a leading student loan advisory service that specializes in enrolling borrowers into federal and state loan assistance programs to minimize their debt load. Summer’s digital platform is supplemented by a dedicated team of student loan experts that ensure each borrower receives the best possible guidance to become debt free. Summer is partnered with hundreds of employers, associations, and institutions to provide its financial wellness tools and resources to 3 million borrowers. It was founded in 2016 by Will Sealy, a former student loan policy expert at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), along with Paul Joo and Vincent Tran, in partnership with Yale University. Based in New York, Summer is a mission-driven Public Benefit Corporation and is a certified B Corporation.
As of 3:00 p.m. tonight – Wednesday, May 6th – the state is reporting a total of 30995 cases of Coronavirus. Updated virus totals and Town-by-Town statistics can be accessed here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
The total statewide number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is 2718.
*For public health surveillance, COVID-19-associated deaths include persons who tested positive for COVID-19 around the time of death (confirmed) and persons whose death certificate lists COVID-19 disease as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death (probable).
Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut
Updated 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Total patients who tested positive: 30995
Fairfield County: 12445
Hartford County: 6530
Litchfield County: 1085
Middlesex County: 742
New Haven County: 8419
New London County: 704
Tolland County: 513
Windham County: 242
Pending address validation: 305