Congressman Courtney Provides Updates on Federal Relief, Budget
The Chamber welcomed U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney for a virtual Business Breakfast on June 9. Congressman Courtney provided important updates on relief efforts related to the pandemic and a look to the future, outlining the opportunities for eastern Connecticut in the proposed federal budget.
Congressman Courtney specifically noted the relief in place for renters, landlords, and utilities under the UniteCT program. The $235 million program provide rental and electricity payment assistance to qualified households impacted by the pandemic. The funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility companies through the program.
Federal funding supported small businesses in CT through $3.2 billion Paycheck Protection Program and $2.3 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Shuttered Venue Operator Grants and Restaurant Revitalization Fund are being awarded.
Congressman Courtney’s review of the proposed budget began with optimism for the region. “This is a very good budget for ship building, particularly submarine construction in the region,” he noted. The proposed budget fully funds two Virginia Class subs per year and the Columbia program, which had not been the case in previous budgets leading to a scrabble to restore funding for one of the Virginia Class subs.
The budget also includes funding for repair work on the LA Class sub. “That repair work is really critical to stabilizing the workforce,” explained Courtney, filling in the dips in production cycles and preventing the need for layoffs.
On the proposed infrastructure bill, Congressman Courtney noted projects that would be funded through a 50% increase in funding for Connecticut, supporting repairs such as those needed on the Goldstar and Old Saybrook bridges as well as transportation improvements such as high-speed rail.
Community projects currently in the bill include the New London pedestrian bridge, Coventry Main Street sidewalk project , Mansfield pedestrian safety improvement, East Haddam swing bridge rehabilitation, Plainfield Quinebaug River trail, and Essex River Road bridge and sidewalk project.
Read more in The Day “’Adamant’ on passing infrastucture bill, Courtney gets committee approval for six earmarks” by Erica Moser, Day staff writer