HARTFORD – State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) and the Connecticut State Senate voted today on an overwhelming and bipartisan basis to financially help the estimated 1,500 federal employees who live and work in Connecticut but who have been furloughed without pay due to the ongoing federal government shutdown.
The Senate voted 32-1 in favor of House Bill 5765, “AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE FEDERAL SHUTDOWN AFFECTED EMPLOYEES LOAN PROGRAM AND PROVIDING ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.”
This bill was sponsored by all six legislative leaders from both the Democratic and Republican caucuses, and was crafted with the input and endorsement of Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut Bankers Association.
“No federal employee should have to work for free,” said Sen. Maroney. “This interest-free loan program will provide federal employees with some much needed financial relief during the partial federal government shutdown. We should all be supportive of the hardworking people who work for our federal government.”
The bill – which becomes effective immediately upon Governor Ned Lamont’s signature – affects approximately 1,500 federal furloughed employees, non-furloughed employees, and furloughed employees who have bene called back to work.
The new program calls for the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) to guarantee loans to eligible employees from private banks. The loans are equal to $5,000 or the regular monthly take-home pay of an employee (whichever is lower), minus any unemployment the employee may be receiving.
Eligible employees may receive up to three loans, one for each 30 day period of the shutdown. Loans are interest-free for 270 days after the shutdown, and the loans must be repaid within 270 days of the end of the federal shutdown in three to six installment payments.
The State of Connecticut is guaranteeing just 10% of the aggregate amount loaned.
The bill also allows (but does not require) municipalities and/or special taxing districts to offer local tax deferment programs and/or water/sewer payment deferments to federal employees affected by the shutdown.