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House Republicans Urge Transparency in Use of Federal Pandemic Aid

Posted on September 3, 2021


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HARTFORD — House Republicans say the historic level of pandemic-related funding provided to the state by the federal government triggers need for an increased level of transparency, and they’ve asked the governor’s budget director to provide the legislature—and taxpayers—with a detailed status report.

House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora, on behalf of his 54-member caucus, sent a letter Aug. 18 to Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw, contending that having a better understanding of how dollars are being dispersed and what money is left available would perhaps allow Republicans to work more closely with Gov. Lamont on a shared topic of interest—growing the economy.

“With more than $10 billion in federal aid in various forms being sent our way, there’s a perception that Connecticut’s fortunes are rosier than what they really are,” Candelora said. “The reality is that we’ll soon face tough budgetary choices, and businesses and their customers will continue to face increasing pressure through our state’s high cost of living and mounting inflation. But if we play our cards correctly, using remaining dollars where they’ll have the most impact, we’ll have an opportunity to reduce the intensity of some of the challenges on the horizon.”

Candelora credited Secretary McCaw and her team for its previous efforts to share data regarding Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds and asked that she do the same for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) aid.

He requested specifics about unallocated CARES funds and an estimate of ARPA funds that don’t have an assigned purpose, and as the legislature debates juvenile justice reform Candelora asked Secretary McCaw for information about recent investments in the Connecticut Youth Employment Program.

The House Republican Caucus awaits a response from Secretary McCaw.

Read Candelora’s letter here.