Transportation & COVID-19 Update from Rep. Rosa Rebimbas

Transportation Update:

Bond Commission Fails to Fund Waterbury Rail Line Improvements

The Waterbury Rail Line (WRL) is the center of public transportation for approximately 250,000 citizens. Improvements to the line would help unleash economic potential both regionally, and statewide. Unfortunately, Governor Lamont failed to realize this when he removed the WRL from his amended Bond Commission agenda.

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The initiative had broad bipartisan support in the legislature and among local municipal leaders in the Greater Naugatuck Valley. Members of the Waterbury Line Caucus, including myself, have worked tirelessly to build consensus among our colleagues.

With this recent development, we have issued a press release voicing our vehement opposition to the Bond Commission’s decision. The caucus’s four co-chairs (State Senators George Logan and Joan Hartley, State Representative Geraldo Reyes, and myself) have vowed to continue working together to secure this crucial funding. Connecticut’s economic future depends on it.

COVID-19 Update:
Face Coverings Required in Public, New Tax Deadlines, Rapid Testing Available, and More

Updates from the Governor’s Office

Cloth Face Coverings or Higher Now Required in Public

Hartford Health Care graphic

Governor Lamont has signed a new executive order (7BB) requiring cloth face covers or a higher level of protection while in public wherever close contact is unavoidable. This EO goes into effect on Monday, April 20th, 2020. Face covers must be worn if coming within six feet of others, when using a taxi or rideshare service (Uber/Lyft), and in other public spaces such as a transit stop or waiting area. This order does not apply to children under two years of age or those with medical conditions if wearing a mask would compromise their breathing.

To read the entire announcement, please click here.

Federal, State Tax Deadlines Moved to July 15th, 2020

As a reminder, the state’s Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has extended filing deadlines to July 15th, 2020 for income tax returns, estimates, and payments for individual income, trusts and estates, pass-through business entities, corporations and more. This is to align state tax deadlines with changes to federal deadlines, which were adjusted by the IRS last month.

DRS press release regarding tax filing, payment deadline extensions: Click Here

NOTE: Stimulus payments are not taxable. Click here for more information as well as other frequently asked questions about Economic Impact Payments.

Improvements to Unemployment Claims Processing

This week, the governor announced a new software improvement that will allow the Department of Labor (DOL) to process unemployment claims at a faster rate. The new software is expected to reduce the wait time for unemployment benefits from six weeks to one week or less. Within a day of using the new software, DOL was able to process 60,000 claims.

Governor announces new software for DOL: Click Here

CVS/State Launch First Rapid COVID-19 Testing Center

The State of Connecticut has formed a partnership with CVS to provide free, rapid COVID-19 testing to eligible residents. This includes anyone experiencing certain COVID-19-related symptoms and risk factors as defined by CDC guidelines, as well as those who meet certain requirements, including state residency and age guidelines.

The first rapid testing site opened yesterday in New Haven at the former Gateway Community College campus. The plan is to conduct up to 750 tests per day, seven days a week. Results will be available approximately 30 minutes after the collection of the swab.

All patients wishing to be tested must pre-register in advance online: Click Here

Governor Announces Rapid Testing: Click Here

Connecticut’s Presidential Primary Now August 11th, 2020

Last month, the governor made the decision to move Connecticut’s presidential primary election from April 28th to June 2nd, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the governor ordered the primary to be moved even further out from June 2nd to August 11th, 2020.

The state is already scheduled to hold primaries for other federal, state, and local offices on August 11th. Moving the presidential primary to this date will enable the presidential primary to appear on the same ballot as those other races.

To read the full announcement, click here.

Summary of Executive Orders

Since the crisis began in March, Governor Lamont has issued a number of executive orders (EOs). These EOs affect different parts of our state including businesses, schools, state operations, public gatherings, and much more. To help make sense of all this, the Office of Legislative Research has graciously organized the EOs into categories based on the institutions they affect.

COVID-19 executive orders affecting…

Reopen Connecticut

While we are not out of the woods yet, government officials are making plans to reopen our local, state, and national economies when the time comes. Details are still to come, but the governor has announced the formation of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which will examine ways to reestablish commerce without posing a significant risk to public health and safety.

The advisory group will be co-chaired by Indra Nooyi, who is the current board co-chair of AdvanceCT and the former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, and Albert Ko MD, who is a professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and a department chair at the Yale School of Public Health.

Similar regional efforts are underway in collaboration with neighboring states.

Additional Resources

As a reminder, these are the best regularly updated sources of information from global, federal, state and local governments and organizations:

Global

Federal

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): Click Here

State

Local

Latest COVID-19 Data

Naugatuck now has 112 confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to the Naugatuck Valley Health District. While these numbers are unsettling, our statewide effort to practice social distancing may be having an effect. Following these guidelines and only leaving our home for essential errands is imperative as we near the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once again, I would like to thank our healthcare professionals and first responders who are working around the clock to treat the sick while putting their own health at risk. Their efforts are heroic and they have saved countless lives.

I will provide more updates as I receive new information. Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns about the state and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or any state government matter. I am more than happy to speak with you directly, provide more information if possible, and to serve as a resource for you and your families.

Email: Rosa.Rebimbas@housegop.ct.gov

Warm regards,


State Representative Rosa C. Rebimbas
70th General Assembly District
Naugatuck

State Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas
Republican Whip
Ranking Member, Judiciary Committee
800-842-1423 (Toll Free)
860-240-8700 (Local)
860-240-0207 (Fax)




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