Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

March 23, 2021

Sen. Anwar Votes to Give Legislature a Voice in How to Invest Billions of Dollars in Federal COVID-19 Aid for Connecticut

HARTFORD – State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined his Democratic colleagues in the state Senate today in voting for a bill that will give the legislative branch of government a voice in how Connecticut will invest $2.6 billion in federal COVID-19 aid and also require Governor Ned Lamont to provide lawmakers with the details of how he has spent similar federal aid to date.

House Bill 6555, “AN ACT CONCERNING LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT AND APPROVAL OF COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS,” passed the Senate today unanimously and now heads to Gov. Lamont for his signature.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was proposed by President Joe Biden and passed only with the votes of Democrats in Congress, brings a total of $6 billion in federal aid to Connecticut to be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • $2.6 billion for state government
  • $1.56 billion for cities, towns, and regional organizations
  • $1.1 billion for local school districts
  • $370 million for higher education
  • $300 million for childcare services
  • $240 million for rental assistance
  • $140 million for capital projects and workforce development
  • $90 million for heating and energy assistance
  • $50 million for mental health grants
  • $11 million for home-delivered meals

The Act prohibits states, cities and towns from using the money to reduce taxes or apply it toward pension debt.

“A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to make sure the funding received by the state is put toward the best possible uses to assist our citizens,” said Sen. Anwar. “This legislation does just that, ensuring the legislature can use new federal funds to help the public. It also puts safeguards in place to make sure these funds are not misused or put toward wasteful causes.”

HB 6555 requires Gov. Lamont to give lawmakers a plan for investing the state portion of the new federal funds by April 26; the legislature’s Appropriations Committee then has until May 16 to create its own plan for the federal funding. The two plans will then be subject to final negotiations between legislative leaders and the executive branch.