Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont unveiled his proposal on Friday on how the state should invest funds from the American Rescue Plan. The $6 billion in federal aid will support recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have $6 billion,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “We wanted to make sure it’s not just money, but investments that make a difference in people’s lives.”
Under the governor’s plan, roughly half of the money will go to the state and to several programs. The rest will go directly to cities and towns as well as to schools.
“The American Rescue Plan gives us an opportunity to come back,” said Governor Lamont.
Here’s a look at some of those key initiatives, which were outlined by the governor and department leaders.
There’s a push to make childcare affordable and accessible for all.
“$220 million to make early childhood education more affordable for families, to improve the quality for all children, and help sustain our childcare infrastructure,” said Beth Bye, Commissioner of the Connecticut Office of Early Education.
They’re also hoping to bolster mental health resources – getting resources to those who need it most when they need it most.
“The innovations we’re looking to implement will create a stronger, more resilient Connecticut,” said Dr. Miriam Dephin-Rittmon, Commissioner of Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Money will go to continuing the state’s vaccination and testing efforts.
“We will finish the job on COVID,” said Dr. Deidre Gifford, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.
Lastly, big investments will be made to benefit Connecticut’s workforce.
“There is going to be a heavy focus on small business support,” said David Lehman, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “$150 million will be there to incremental equity investments, lending, as well as grants to small businesses.”
Lehman continued by saying, “At least 50% of those funds will be focused on women, minority, disabled, and veteran-owned businesses in the state of Connecticut.”
Governor Lamont will present his full plan to lawmakers by Monday. The legislature then has until mid-May to create a plan of their own. The governor and the legislature will come together and ultimately finalize a plan.