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Connecticut to Receive $4 Billion in Direct Aid Through Stimulus Bill

  • Governor Ned Lamont says Connecticut will receive approximately $4 billion in direct aid under a federal economic stimulus bill
  • Bulk of funds will support stimulus checks, education, and unemployment benefits
  • Further relief available through Paycheck Protection Program, federal funding of the Shared Work program, and more

Connecticut stands to receive approximately $4 billion in direct aid under an economic stimulus bill that passed by Congress last week and approved by President Donald Trump on Sunday.

Governor Ned Lamont recently outlined how the funds will be distributed. The bulk of the appropriations, $1.6 billion, will go toward $600 direct payments for adults earning less than $75,000 as well as minor dependents. Another $745.5 million will support educational institutions, with $695.1 million provided for an additional $300 a week supplement for residents on unemployment.

Other federal funds earmarked for Connecticut include:

  • $311.9 million for vaccine distribution, testing, and contact tracing
  • $237 million for rental assistance
  • $225 million for colleges and universities
  • $210 million for urban transit
  • $124.8 million for highways
  • $66.9 million for child care
  • $41.4 million for funeral assistance
  • $8.9 million for the Airport Improvement Program, which helps fund improvements at six state-owned and four municipality-owned airports in Connecticut

The legislation includes an 11-week extension of two federal unemployment programs to assist those who have exhausted their state benefits or who don’t traditionally qualify for state benefits; approximately 64,000 Connecticut residents are covered under these programs. In addition, it continues 100 percent federal funding of the state’s Shared Work program, which allows employers to reduce employees’ hours and have them be compensated by unemployment benefits, and extends a Trust Fund interest waiver, which reduces the financial liability of Connecticut companies that pay a special assessment to repay interest on borrowing from the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.

Further relief will be available through a variety of venues, most notably the Paycheck Protection Program. The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development says the state’s nonprofits and companies have secured more than 65,000 PPP loans totaling over $6.7 billion as a result of the first round of funding. The “second draw” PPP loans will focus on small companies that have suffered significant revenue losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and detailed guidance will soon be posted by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Other measures anticipated to provide assistance to Connecticut residents and businesses include a $15 billion grant program to support live venues and cultural institutions, capital investments in neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, and food relief.

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