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Rep. Lezlye Zupkus Op-ed: Here, ready to engage and help rebuild

Posted on May 26, 2020 by jdooley


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We are living in unprecedented times, facing a global pandemic and doing our best to protect our state residents from this terrible virus. And I believe most of my legislative colleagues would agree having collaborative and unified voice speak on behalf of our state government is the best way to communicate a state-wide message.

As a state representative, my duties don’t end at the State Capitol front door when the legislative session gavels out. We are on call 24 hours, 7 days-a-week, answering constituent calls and emails, engaging with agencies to help residents navigate issues with their state government.

And with the Coronavirus outbreak, my legislative office is fielding an historic number of phone calls, letters, and emails from people in Bethany, Cheshire and Prospect. And I will say, the frustration level is reaching a critical boiling point for many over the current stay-at-home policy and some of the government response.

In an attempt, to share the frustrations of our constituents, my colleagues and I have sent the governor multiple letters asking for more of a collaborative policy-making approach but have been sidelined. Instead the governor is relying on the Re-Open CT Advisory Board and an out-of-state consulting firm neither of which is accountable to the residents of the state or working day-in and day-out.

For instances, my office is still hearing from constituents who are unable to get answers or solutions from the Department of Labor (DOL) concerning their unemployment insurance claims after 9 weeks out of work. We are hearing from constituents that the wait time for a response may be five to seven weeks, and we know some people have not received a single check since being out of work. This is unacceptable, and our state’s unemployment compensation operation needs to be a top priority.

I will continue to advocate for the families and businesses in Bethany, Cheshire and Prospect and convey their frustrations are part of the overall state solution.

I, along with my House Republican colleagues are calling on the governor to immediately re-engage the state legislature. It’s time to collaborate and work together in a transparent, open process where state businesses and the public have a voice on the future of their lives and livelihoods.

Our state will be better served if we collectively work as a team to rebuild and reopen our state.

As always, please contact me should you have any questions about these topics or concerns on any other issues relating to state government at Lezlye.Zupkus@housegop.ct.gov or at (800) 842-1423.