- MassMutual announced that it is providing up to $25,000 of free term life insurance – totaling $3 billion – to frontline healthcare workers across Massachusetts and Connecticut who are risking their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Today it was reported that the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses has exhausted the funding allocated under the CARES Act. Senator Murphy wants to provide additional funding for this program and make changes so that small businesses are able to get the funds they desperately need. As Congress begins to craft a fourth COVID-19 relief bill, Senator Murphy supports additional funding for small businesses, states, hospitals, first responders, and is urging his colleagues to come together and pass a bill to continue to help the American employees and workers.
- This week the FCC opened up grants to not-for-profit and public health care providers to help them fund their telecommunications services and devices necessary to provide connected care. Click here to find out more.
- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Murphy joined 38 of his colleagues, including Senator Blumenthal, in a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to automatically extend work authorizations for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and other impacted immigrants.
- Senator Murphy joined several of his Senate Democratic colleagues in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to take immediate action to support the nation’s dairy farmers and stabilize dairy markets amid the sharp decline caused by COVID-19.
- Farm Credit East has created resources to help its customers and other farmers understand the aid available through the CARES Act. You can check out their COVID-19 Resource Hub here.
- This week, the IRS launched a tool called “Get My Payment” where people can track their Economic Impact Payment and enter their direct deposit information if desired. The IRS also has a portal where people who do not normally file taxes can enter their information to help expedite their payment. Information on both of these programs and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.irs.gov/eip.
- Senator Murphy joined a group of Senators calling on the Small Business Administration to provide clear and consistent guidance regarding the implementation of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and the new Emergency Economic Injury Grants (EEIGs). Small businesses in Connecticut are counting on this federally mandated relief, and it is imperative that the SBA ensure they receive it efficiently and effectively. If you are a small business with questions about relief available to you, refer to the small business resources available on murphy.senate.gov/coronavirus or contact our office for assistance.
- Today, Senator McConnell attempted to unilaterally move a bill that would have provided additional funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). While Senator Murphy supports increased funding for PPP, it’s also important to ensure that money is actually getting to the businesses it was intended to help, and to couple that relief with additional money to the healthcare system, states, and towns to help fight the virus and end the public health crisis.
- Senator Murphy held a telephone town hall with Connecticut small businesses and constituents to answer questions and provide an update on programs available to small businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Murphy was joined by Mark Hayward, the Connecticut Interim District Director for the Small Business Administration (SBA). A full recording of the town hall is available here.
- Senator Murphy appeared on CT Public Radio’s Where We Live to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Connecticut.
- In partnership with National Security Action, Senator Murphy released a video explaining why the Trump administration was unprepared to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and what we need to do to prepare for the next one.
- Yesterday, the CDC awarded $4.8 million to Connecticut as part of supplemental funding to areas with the highest number of reported COVID-19 cases and with accelerating COVID-19 cases. The funding was part of the CARES Act passed last month by Congress to support public health activities such as lab equipment, supplies, staffing, shipping, infection control, surge staffing, surveillance and case monitoring, and data management.
- As a reminder, Access Health CT has extended the deadline of its new special enrollment period that was created due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The new deadline to enroll is April 17. To get covered starting May 1st you must call 855-365-2428.
- Senator Murphy led the Connecticut Congressional delegation today in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging the department to immediately halt plans to finalize or move forward with regulations that will limit people in Connecticut from accessing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Specifically, the members called on the department to rescind the SNAP Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Rule and halt the rulemaking process for the Revision of Categorical Eligibility Rule and the Revision of State Heating and Cooling Standard Utility Allowances (SUA) Rule.
- Senator Murphy sent a letter to Vice President Pence asking him, as the COVID-19 Task Force lead, to provide full transparency into how the federal government determines where and how much PPE it allocates to states and hospitals. Right now there’s no public reporting about the decision-making process for the distribution of medical supplies. States like Connecticut have had their PPE orders cancelled by the federal government with no explanation as to why. His letter asks the VP when the federal government plans to publicly provide information about allocation determinations.
- Senator Murphy announced he will introduce bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to help Peace Corps volunteers who have been suddenly evacuated from abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation will make sure Peace Corp volunteers can qualify for unemployment insurance like everyone else, can get back into the field quickly once the coronavirus subsides, and can continue to serve at home in the United States by allowing them to be quickly channeled into the AmeriCorps or similar service programs.
- Senator Murphy sent a letter to all major U.S. carriers to do the right thing and provide full refunds—not just vouchers—for all flights that have been changed or canceled because of the pandemic. Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation is requiring all U.S. and foreign airlines to provide a prompt refund for flights to, within, or from the U.S. when the flight is canceled or significantly changed and the passenger chooses not to accept the alternative offered by the carrier.
- Senator Murphy sent a letter with 40 other Democratic U.S. Senators calling for the Treasury Department to clarify that Social Security recipients can receive their direct cash rebate without having to file a tax return.
- Yesterday, Senator Murphy sent a letter with eight other Democratic U.S. Senators urging the chief executives of 11 major airlines to issue full cash refunds to customers canceling flights during the coronavirus pandemic after Congress approved $25 billion in cash grants for the airline industry.
- The Department of Labor released additional guidance regarding H-2A farm worker visas and modifications to the program as a result of the coronavirus.
- The U.S. Department of Labor released a temporary rule implementing the paid sick leave and paid family leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The law provides refundable tax credits for employers with fewer than 500 employees to cover the costs of providing paid leave to their employees for reasons related to COVID-19. For information about the temporary rule, fact sheets on the new paid leave provisions for employers and employees, and a U.S. Department of Labor FAQ page, click here. We will continue to provide updates as soon as they become available.
- Small businesses and nonprofits can learn more about Small Business Administration programs they may qualify for here, including the new Paycheck Protection Program, which lenders may start processing loan applications for on April 3, 2020.
- The Connecticut Department of Labor today launched a website containing spreadsheets that breaks down information on people who have filed for unemployment in the state by age, industry, gender, and town. The public release of the information will provide a valuable insight to municipal and state governments for planning and budgeting purposes, and for developing responsible strategies for re-opening the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The website – www1.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi/claimsdata.asp – was developed by the agency’s Office of Research in an effort to track unemployment data from January 2015 to April 2020. Due to the large number of unemployment claims being processed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the April 2020 data is preliminary only.
- Rapid testing site in New Haven continues to take appointments seven days a week. The rapid COVID-19 testing site in New Haven that is operated by CVS Health in coordination with the State of Connecticut is continuing to take appointments seven days a week. Test results are provided within 30 minutes and at provided at no charge to anyone. Visit www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is partnering with the developers of the How We Feel app in an effort to anonymously provide scientists with critical health information needed to understand the spread of COVID-19. Available to download for free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store, it is supported by a nonprofit organization and does not require logging in or the sharing of any personal details, such as name or email address. In addition to being available to download to mobile devices, users can also complete the survey through a web version available at howwefeel.app.
The How We Feel app was developed by leading health experts from several institutions, including Harvard University, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. It was created in response to the need for health officials and doctors to obtain more information on COVID-19 in the face of widespread testing shortages. It only takes users about 30 seconds each day to report any symptoms they may be experiencing, and the information shared has the potential to reveal outbreak hotspots and provide insight into the progression of COVID-19.
People in Connecticut – whether they are healthy or sick – can help this research by using the app and self-reporting their daily symptoms through a series of short prompts about how they’re feeling, and share that data with scientists in real time. Aggregate data is securely shared with leading medical institutions so scientists and public health professionals can better spot emerging outbreaks early, identify new populations who are at risks, and measure the efficacy of public health measures such as social distancing.
Getting this data to the medical community as quickly as possible enables them to make faster decisions to help slow or contain the virus. When they have a better idea of who is sick, how sick they are, and where they are, there’s the potential to increase testing, deploy additional resources, and ultimately save lives.
“We’re all looking for something we can do to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this app provides an opportunity for everyone – regardless of whether you are currently sick or if you are in healthy condition – to share how you’re feeling to leading health professionals, so they can track the spread of this virus and quickly determine where a new outbreak may be occurring,” Governor Lamont said. “Likewise, as people report healthier symptoms, the data could reveal which health measures are having the fastest impact and apply those learnings in other areas. It’s quick and easy to use, and completely anonymous. By encouraging everyone to use How We Feel, we all benefit.”
Dr. Albert Ko, co-chair of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, said, “We need to provide all residents of Connecticut with the best technology to identify whether they are feeling ill and need to get tested for COVID-19. We can all be assured that by partnering with most trusted and high-caliber doctors and scientists who created How We Feel, we can provide the best care the highest standards of data privacy.”
Indra Nooyi, co-chair of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, said, “As our taskforce works on our plan for fighting the virus and getting the state back to work, How We Feel will be a critical tool for us to get a better understanding of how the whole population is feeling, both healthy and sick. This will enable us to more quickly make the important decisions about opening the economy.”
New partnerships formed to expedite loan processing and payments under the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has formed partnerships with SoFi, a leading online personal finance company, and Equifax, a global data, analytics and technology company, to expedite loan processing and payments – and lower costs – under the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program.
The $50 million program was created by DECD to provide cash flow relief to small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by COVID-19. The DECD program has already received over 5,000 applications.
While DECD will make all lending decisions, SoFi will utilize its advanced technology capabilities to expedite all loan processing and facilitate fulfillment to ensure borrowers receive their financial assistance in a timely fashion. Equifax differentiated data assets lend further support to the program to improve the process by validating required information of recipients, credit and bank accounts. These partnerships will help DECD meet the goal to make payments by the end of April. In addition to being more efficient, this new approach lowers costs by automating the closing process.
SoFi, which has over one million members, is providing these third-party services to support Connecticut and this important COVID-19 relief program as part of its larger mission to help people get their money right. Equifax blends unique data, analytics, and technology with a passion for serving customers globally and a commitment to helping people and businesses live their financial best.
- Cloth face coverings or higher level of protection required in public wherever close contact is unavoidable: Effective at 8:00 p.m. on April 21, 2020, any person in a public place in Connecticut who is unable to or does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering. In addition, individuals shall use a mask or cloth face covering when using the services of any taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing or similar service or means of mass public transit, or while within any semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area. The commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development will be required to update the previously issued Safe Workplace rules and Safe Store rules. Nothing in this order shall require the use of a mask or cloth face covering by anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety because of a medical condition, anyone under the age of 2 years, or by an older child if the parent, guardian or person responsible for the child is unable to place the mask safely on the child’s face. If a person declines to wear a mask or face covering because of a medical condition as described above, such person shall not be required to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.
- Further postponement of presidential preference primary to August 11: To protect the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and the most vulnerable members of the population, the presidential primary is ordered rescheduled – for the second time – to August 11, 2020. This is the same date that state and local primaries had already been scheduled to be held. Originally, the primary had been scheduled to be held April 28, and then the governor rescheduled it to June 2 with Executive Order No. 7G. Today’s order supersedes that previously enacted order.
State launches new “Talk It Out” hotline for families to relieve stress of caring for children during pandemic
Parents and caretakers in need of help with the stress and increased needs resulting from caring for their children during the COVID-19 crisis are invited to call the state’s new “Talk It Out” hotline to receive assistance.
An initiative of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the hotline provides support from trained professionals who will listen and speak with those in need about their concerns and, if additional help is needed, refer them to responsive services.
Parents and caretakers are invited to call 1-833-258-5011 or visit www.talkitoutct.com.
The “Talk It Out” hotline is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on weekends from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It has both English and Spanish capacity.
AdvanceCT launches second business survey to provide feedback to state policymakers
AdvanceCT, the nonprofit organization that works to advance overall economic competitiveness in Connecticut, today launched a second survey for the state’s businesses with the goal of providing continued feedback to state policymakers regarding how businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Results of the survey will be used to prioritize economic recovery initiatives. The survey is developed in partnership with the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.
Businesses interested in participating in this survey can access it here: COVID-19 Phase II Business Impact Survey
Banking Commissioner issues COVID-19 stimulus check guidance to Connecticut chartered banks and credit unions
This week Connecticut residents began to see their stimulus money directly deposited into their accounts. In keeping with the intent of the program that these monies be used to meet the basic needs of residents, Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez issued guidance to Connecticut state-chartered financial institutions urging them to not use stimulus funds deposited into accounts to offset outstanding debts customers and members may have with their financial institution. The guidance comes in response to Governor Lamont’s continuing directive to state agencies to identify ways to assist Connecticut residents.
The guidance urges Connecticut state-chartered banks and credit unions to not use a stimulus payment to satisfy an overdraft that existed prior to a stimulus payment being deposited to the account, or to exercise rights of offset against the account with respect to other debts. The guidance covers a period of 30 days from the date the stimulus payment is deposited to the account, and financial institutions are strongly encouraged to document any offset with the express agreement of the customer or member. If a financial institution’s systems automatically apply a stimulus payment to an account overdraft, the financial institution is urged to reverse the application of the stimulus payment as promptly as possible.
Consumers are urged to reach out to their financial institutions with questions. They may also request assistance through the Department of Banking’s website.
To read the full guidance, click here.
Department of Revenue Services launches assistance program to help taxpayers impacted by COVID-19
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has launched a new assistance program specifically designed to help taxpayers subject to current DRS collections matters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DRS Priority One Taxpayer Assistance Program (Priority One) is available to business and individual taxpayers who may be unable to meet their current collections obligations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any taxpayer who is the subject of a payment plan, bank warrant, wage execution, or other levy by DRS and needs relief or assistance because of the impact of COVID-19, can contact DRS directly to speak to a tax professional.
Anyone in need of assistance can contact the DRS Priority One Taxpayer Assistance Program via:
- Phone: 860-541-7650 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
- Email: DRSPriorityOne_CollectionsAssist@po.state.ct.us
Connecticut Department of Labor processed 60,000 unemployment claims last night utilizing new software improvements
Since March 13, the department received more than 350,000 applications, nearly the same amount that it typically receives over a two-year period. Approximately 174,000 of those applications had already been manually processed prior to the deployment of yesterday’s software improvements. Paired with the continued manual processing, the originally anticipated six-week wait period is expected to be shortened to one week or less.
- Governor Lamont, in consultation with State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, today announced that he soon plans to sign an executive order extending the date for which classes at all public schools statewide remain canceled until at least May 20.
The governor plans to sign the order in the coming days.
- The State of Connecticut is continuing to process inputs from people, businesses, and organizations who wish to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use in the state’s hospitals and long-term care facilities. To date, there have been 2,027 offers to donate items. Those offers are being processed through a collaboration between the Department of Public Health and the United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut.
The state continues to request PPE for health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers. To donate PPE, click here to fill out an intake form.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7V enacts the following provisions:
- Safe workplaces in essential businesses: Requires the Department of Economic and Community Development to work in consultation with the Department of Public Health on the development of legally binding statewide rules prescribing additional protective measures that every workplace in Connecticut deemed essential – and any other business or nonprofit allowed to remain open – must follow. Such rules will be mandatory throughout the state.
- Immediately upon Governor Lamont’s signing of this executive order, the Department of Economic and Community Development published the Safe Workplaces Rules for Essential Employers on its website, outlining guidance for these businesses. These rules go into effect immediately.
- Temporary permits for certain health care providers extended and fees waived: Waives the application fees for temporary permits for each of the health care professions that are administered by the Department of Public Health. It also extends the duration of the temporary permits for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless otherwise modified.
- Practice before licensure for certain health care profession applicants and graduates: Allows recent medical school and other medical profession graduates who are not yet licensed to participate in the state’s COVID-19 response for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency. This is necessary during the emergency period because the ability to take the required exams or other steps to receive a license have been suspended.
- Practice before licensure for marital and family therapy associates: Allows those who have recently completed an accredited graduate degree program in marital and family therapy offered by a postgraduate clinical training program to practice without a license for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency.
- Practice before licensure for professional counselor associates: Allows recent graduates with a degree in clinical mental health counseling who are not yet licensed to practice as a professional counselor associate without obtaining a license for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency.
- Protection from civil liability for actions or omissions in support of the state’s COVID-19 response: Replaces the section of Executive Order No. 7U concerning protection from civil liability for actions or omissions in support of the state’s COVID-19 response with new language, which adds protection from liability for common law claims – in addition to the previously enacted protection from liability for statutory claims – for healthcare workers and providers.
- Access Health CT has extended the Special Enrollment Period to sign up for health insurance until Friday, April 17. Coverage is available for uninsured Connecticut residents who don’t otherwise receive insurance through their job or become unemployed. The only way to sign up for this Special Enrollment Period is by calling 855-365-2428.
- Governor Lamont and a large number of state officials and nonprofit providers are urging Connecticut residents to consider taking on a volunteer role in their communities to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis. While the state already began a campaign seeking out volunteers who have health care experience, today the state is launching a campaign seeking volunteers from the general public who are needed for other services at many different types of providers, such as food banks, deliveries to the elderly, shelters, and more.
- Volunteers must be 18 or older, and should not volunteer if at risk or compromised. Those who are immunocompromised, over 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, including for volunteer efforts. Please stay safe, stay home.
- Volunteers do not need to be health care workers. In addition to calling on physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who may be retired, the state needs community members to help out at food banks, food deliveries to the elderly, and at shelters in a number of ways.
- For those who do have a background in health care, the state’s medical community has specific needs at this time. Hospitals have advised the state that they have a high need for critical care nurses and repository therapists.
- Every effort is being made to keep volunteers safe. The state and all of the organizations involved are working hard to make sure that everyone helping out can do so as safely as possible. If any volunteers have concerns, they are strongly urged to ask about the safety protocols of the organization they are volunteering.
- Volunteers will be sent where they are most needed and feel most comfortable. The volunteer process is centralized so that the state and participating organizations have a clear picture of everyone who can help, and everything that is needed. That way, volunteers can be matched with an opportunity that is most in need of that person’s skillset.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7T enacts the following provisions:
- Prohibition on non-essential lodging: Prohibits all hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and short-term residential rentals (including those arrange through online hosting platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo) from renting to customers for leisure or vacation purposes. Instead, lodging at these facilities must be limited to:
- Health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers;
- Workers engaged in transporting critical materials to hospitals;
- Vulnerable populations, including those who are homeless;
- Connecticut residents who need a place to self-quarantine away from family or roommates;
- Those receiving long-term care or specialized medical treatment;
- Connecticut residents in need of housing as a result of property damage, such as a fire;
- Persons unable to return home because of constraints on travel; and
- Persons engaged in providing or servicing lodging.
- Further clarification of limits on restaurants, bars, and private clubs: Permits, under certain conditions, food establishments and liquor manufacturers to deliver alcoholic liquor and allows additional manufacturers to sell alcoholic liquor for pick-up and delivery. This will provide additional opportunities for these businesses to safely deliver their products directly to customers and reduce travel outside the home.
- Suspension of notarization requirement related to Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Suspends the notarization requirement for certifying compliance with nondiscrimination laws for applicants seeking assistance through the recently created Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program for small businesses in order to ensure that applications can be completed and processed in an efficient manner.
- Flexibility to maintain adequate child care infrastructure: Provides the commissioner of Early Childhood with the authority to implement a financial package to compensate emergency child care and stabilize the child care field to support providers through the emergency response.
- Suspension of rehearing rights for temporary rate increases for certain health care providers: Enables the Department of Social Services to provide relief to various providers, including nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities for the intellectually disabled, and residential care homes, by way of a temporary rate increase to address the COVID-19 public health emergency without being subject to rehearings challenging the overall magnitude and methodology of the rate increases that can, in some case, take years to come to a conclusion and expose the state to increased costs beyond those necessary to pay the temporary rate increases.
- Alternative to affidavits in relation to orders of protection and relief: Suspends the requirement that victims of domestic abuse sign an application for an order of protection under oath before a notary or attorney. Instead, the order enables them to sign an application outside the presence of a third party under the penalty of false statement. Governor Lamont thanks the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Judicial Branch for their input and coordination on this important matter. This order, along with additional changes the Judicial Branch intends to make to its Rules of Civil Procedure, will ensure victims of domestic abuse continue to have access to our courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7S enacts the following provisions:
- Safe stores mandatory statewide rules: Effective upon the opening of each retail establishment for the first time on April 3, 2020, every retail establishment in the state will be required to take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between and among customers, employees, and other persons such as delivery drivers and maintenance people. The order requires the commissioner of the Economic and Community Development to issue mandatory statewide rules prescribing such additional protective measures. Such rules will be mandatory throughout the state and supersede and preempt any current or contemplated municipal order.
- Immediately following Governor Lamont’s signing of this executive order, the Department of Economic and Community Development published the Safe Stores Rules on its website, outlining guidance for retail establishments. All stores must follow these rules beginning April 3.
- 60-day grace period for premium payments, policy cancellations, and non-renewals of insurance policies: Beginning on April 1, 2020 for a period of 60 days, no insurer in Connecticut – including life, health, auto property, casualty, and other types – may lapse or terminate a covered insurance policy because a policyholder does not pay a premium or interest during this time. This grace period is not automatic. To be eligible, affected policyholders must provide additional information acceptable to their insurance carriers.
- Extension of 30-day period of credit for liquor permittees: Modifies state law to permit the maximum period of credit for liquor permittees from certain creditors, including wholesalers and manufacturers, to be 90 days after the date of delivery for all permittees prohibited from engaging in on-premise sales per Executive Order No. 7D.
- Daily payment of certain taxes changed to weekly: Modifies the tax payment requirements for Sportech, the licensee authorized to operate off-track betting in Connecticut, from daily to weekly so that its employees aren’t required to appear in person daily.
- Flexibility to amend Medicaid waivers and state plan: In order to allow continued access to critical services for Medicaid beneficiaries, the order waives public notice and legislative hearing requirements for the duration of the declared public health and civil preparedness emergencies to allow the Department of Social Services to seek expedited approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to submit Medicaid waivers; amend existing Medicaid waivers; submit Medicaid State Plan Amendments that would have required a waiver but for the Affordable Care Act; and obtain relief from various other federal requirements on an emergency basis.
- Relief from certain municipal tax deadlines and collection efforts: Requires municipalities to enact one or both of two options for providing temporary tax forbearance of property tax collection and reduced interest on delinquent tax payments to property owners under certain conditions, including that landlords agree extend commensurate forbearance to commercial, residential, or institutional tenants for the duration of the deferment.
- Allow suspension of in-person voting requirements for critical and time sensitive municipal fiscal deadlines: Allows suspension of certain in-person votes of residents or taxpayers on certain fiscal decisions, in addition to the provisions in Executive Order No. 7I, for fiscal decisions needed to prevent property damage, protect public health and safety, or prevent significant financial loss, provided they comply with all open meeting requirements of Executive Order No. 7B.
- Suspension of reapplication filing requirement for the homeowners’ elderly/disabled circuit breaker tax relief program and for the homeowners’ elderly/disabled freeze tax relief program: Allows recipients of this benefit to receive the benefit for the coming year without recertifying their eligibility.
- Substitution of full inspection requirements pertaining to October 1, 2020 grand list revaluations:Allows 34 municipalities to continue with their scheduled 2020 revaluations, which are started up to a year in advance.The statute allows for Data Mailer Questionnaire to be mailed to the property owner when access is unobtainable; this eliminates having to request access, and allows for the revaluation to be completed via questionnaire.
- Extension of deadline to file income and expense statement to August 15: Allows taxpayers additional time to complete their income and expense statements.
- Suspension of non-judicial tax sales: Suspends foreclosures through non-judicial tax sales until 30 days after the end of the COVID-19 emergency.