American rescue plan

Lamont Unveils Plans to Invest Federal COVID-19 Aid in Connecticut

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Gov. Ned Lamont has announced key initiatives from his proposal for using federal COVID-19 recovery aid in the state.

The governor has until April 26 to provide the General Assembly with his proposal to invest funds from the American Rescue Plan.

Lamont said the funding from the federal government gives the state an opportunity to come back from the pandemic.

"We have $6 billion that we wanted to make sure it's not just money, but it's investments that make a difference in people's lives, especially those that were hardest hit by this pandemic," Lamont said.

He said he wants to make Investments that allow the state to move forward and allow for growth and opportunity for all.

The state legislature's Appropriations Committee has until May 16 to create its own proposal and then the two plans will be negotiated between the legislature and the governor.

Beth Bye, the Commissioner for the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, said there is $220 million to make early childhood education more affordable for families.

She said there will be free summer enrichment learning and there is a new initiative to expand home visits to all Connecticut families, starting in the regions hardest hit by COVID.

Bye said families will receive one to three home visits in a baby's first 12 weeks and home visitors will check on the mother's and the baby's health and connect families to resources and, as needed, community health workers.

She said that families that participate in home visiting have a 44 percent of lower referral to child welfare agencies and emergency room visits are cut in half.

Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said her department will continue to spread the word about resources and treatment available to residents.

Deidre Gifford, acting Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, discussed a commitment to long-term efforts on health equity and said the state will invest in community health workers to assist children and families who are struggling.

David Lehman, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and the governor’s senior economic advisor, discussed a $150 million investment. He said there will be a focus on small businesses, the livability of communities and the creation of jobs for tomorrow.

Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw said the state is receiving billions of dollars from the federal government for recovery and highlighted investments in defeating COVID-19 and addressing public health.

She addressed investments in infrastructure, resources for minority entrepreneurs, creating a more affordable Connecticut and investments to provide access to childcare and foster economic growth

Equity is at the heart of the investments, she said.

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