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Lamont To Present Plan For COVID Relief Funds

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Associated Press
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

On Monday Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont will share his plan with lawmakers on how the state should spend $2.6 billion in American Rescue funds. That’s part of about $6 billion in federal Coronavirus relief earmarked for Connecticut. There are competing visions of how the money should be spent.

Lamont would like to spend the money on continued COVID-19 vaccination as well summer learning camps for youth and more assistance for struggling small businesses.

“We have $6 billion and we want to make sure it’s not just money but investments that make a difference in people’s lives, especially those that were hardest hit by this pandemic,” Lamont said.

Lawmakers asked Lamont to provide them with his plans after some Democrats accused the governor of not adequately addressing longstanding racial and economic disparities in the state. Lawmakers have until May 16 to approve or modify Lamont’s plan.

In the meantime, other groups are also weighing in on how the influx of federal dollars should be spent. The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities will announce a panel of business and community leaders to help cities and towns decide how they spend their share of the money. There is also more than $1 billion that will go directly to school districts, who’ve yet to decide how they will spend it.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.