Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

March 24, 2021

Sen. Hartley Votes to Give Legislature a Voice in How to Invest Federal COVID-19 Aid for Connecticut

State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury), Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, today voted in support of 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 coronavirus pandemic has impacted every part of our communities. This federal aid is an opportunity for our state to provide relief and investment in the recovery of Connecticut’s economy and well-being of families,” said Sen. Hartley. “We need to have a plan for how this funding is directed to ensure it provides the greatest support to residents, businesses, and community organizations. Further, this bill ensures the concerns and voices of the constituents we represent are part of determining how this funding is appropriated.”

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

  • $140 million for capital projects and workforce development
  • $1.1 billion for local school districts
  • $370 million for higher education
  • $1.56 billion for cities, towns, and regional organizations
  • $2.6 billion for state government
  • $300 million for childcare services
  • $240 million for rental assistance
  • $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.

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.