Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont today announced new endeavors to provide funds to illegal immigrants who are not eligible for federal pandemic assistance. The state’s Department of Housing will allocate $2.5 million to landlords whose undocumented tenants are unable to keep up with rent payments, while the philanthropy 4-CT will distribute $1 million to community groups that will allocate money to undocumented families.
Ted Yang, co-founder and CEO of 4-CT, stated the program is seeking to “offer a bridge from crisis to a more stable footing. I ask other funders to partner with us to expand this program to other vulnerable populations, such as the families of essential workers, to help your fellow Connecticut residents in need.”
“While more support for these families is needed, this is an important starting point, and we plan to move quickly to make this assistance available,” Lamont said. “I urge other philanthropic leaders to help grow the pot and meet the needs of impacted families. To these residents of Connecticut, I want you to know that you are not forgotten.”
As of this morning, the state conducted 274,396 tests and recorded 43,091 positive cases, with 406 current hospitalizations and 3,989 deaths. Connecticut also issued more detailed hospitalization data that revealed 9,559 admissions and 7,124 discharges to date, as well as 1,981 deaths. Those fatalities only include those who died in an acute care hospital.
Fairfield County has now recorded 15,087 confirmed and 702 “probable” COVID-19 cases, plus 998 confirmed and 291 “probable” deaths plus 134 current hospitalizations. Bridgeport has the most cases in the state with 3,281, followed by Stamford (3,051), New Haven (2,419), Hartford (2,192) and Norwalk (1,938).
Lamont also announced Connecticut schools can begin to hold in-person graduation ceremonies starting July 6. Ceremonies are to be held outdoors and up to 150 people will be allowed to attend.
“While we recognize it is far from what we want, we must continue to follow guidance from our health experts to protect our students our families and our communities,” he said.
Elsewhere in state government, Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting a fiscal year 2020 deficit of $619.9 million. Lembo pointed out that the state’s job losses featured a lopsided surplus of layoffs and furloughs in the service industry, including the loss of over 50 percent of jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector. He warned of uncertain revenue projections based on the continued economic volatility and the delayed filing date for income taxes.
However, Lembo also credited the federal CARES Act for protecting Connecticut homeowners and renters during the pandemic and urged Washington to provide additional economic intervention.
“This is a national emergency and we need a national response,” Lembo said. “Additional federal resources are necessary to offset state and municipal revenue losses and to lend support to the thousands of Connecticut residents who are out of a job through no fault of their own. We are one nation facing one crisis together. We need our federal government to step up.”
Separately, State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden released the monthly Cash and Bonding Report, which found the state’s overall available cash level was $4.5 billion as of May 30, with the common cash pool at $3.3 billion.
Wooden also noted the three bond issuances for the last quarter of this fiscal year: the $850 million of special tax obligation bonds for transportation that closed last Friday, $500 million of taxable general obligation bonds and $400 million of tax-exempt general obligation bonds.
“As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut has maintained its strong cash position,” Wooden said. “The work our state has done previously has positioned us well to focus on current and future challenges and work to protect communities against both the economic and health effects of the virus. Just recently, the major rating agencies reaffirmed our investment-grade credit ratings and stable outlooks, backing up our belief that Connecticut has managed well in these uncertain times.”