Vote on Interest-Free Loans for Federal Employees Working Without Pay Expected Tuesday - NBC Connecticut

Vote on Interest-Free Loans for Federal Employees Working Without Pay Expected Tuesday



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    Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday that federal employees in Connecticut working without pay will be eligible for no-interest loans through Webster Bank.

    The governor said he and legislative leaders have reached an agreement that would allow federal workers who are working without pay to receive interest-free loans and a vote on the bill is expected Tuesday.

    Earlier this week, Gov. Ned Lamont said federal employees in Connecticut who are working without pay during the government shutdown are eligible for interest-free loans provided by the banks or credit unions and backed by the state.

    The initial loans would afford impacted employees up to one month’s net pay, capped at $5,000.

    In the event that the shutdown continues, participating banks and the state will work with impacted employees to provide additional funds.

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

    On Friday, Lamont’s office said the Democratic and Republican leaders in each of the General Assembly’s four caucuses have reached an agreement to adopt emergency certified legislation and it is being drafted.

    Approximately 1,500 federal employees in Connecticut are impacted by the partial government shutdown.

    The state Department of Labor has already been offering some of them employment benefits, but only furloughed employees who are not allowed to work can file for unemployment, which means those working without pay were considered ineligible for benefits. 

    The shutdown, which is the result of the ongoing fight between President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers over funds for a U.S.-Mexico border wall is now in its 28th day.

    This has become the longest shutdown in history and there is no resolution in sight.

    Before this, the longest government shutdown was during the Clinton administration. It lasted 21 days, from Dec. 16, 1995, until Jan. 5, 1996, according to NBC News. 

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