With many families in Connecticut facing added financial strain due to rising prices, the legislature went into special session earlier this week to provide some relief. A bipartisan bill passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Lamont extends the current suspension of the gasoline tax, provides additional funding for energy assistance programs, and continues premium pay for frontline workers.
I am sure we share the same concerns about Eversource and United Illuminating, the state's two main electric distribution companies, which both filed for new standard service supply rates with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) that will increase rates by approximately 40%. Once approved by PURA, these new rates will go into effect from January 1, 2023, through the first six months of the year.
I am pleased to have hosted a joint forum of state legislators and Latin American and Caribbean consular representatives for state lawmakers to learn about the diplomatic services available to their Latino constituents and to foster a closer collaboration between legislators and the consuls that are serving these overlapping constituencies.
A recent report detailed that throughout Connecticut there was an increase of 13% in overall homelessness from 2021 to 2022.
The state has announced a five-year, $46.6 million investment to expand small business assistance programs across Connecticut, specifically supporting small business owners who may have previously experienced barriers to accessing financial support. This initiative will also support startup businesses, which is great news for our economy.
Access Health CT's (AHCT) Open Enrollment Period will open on Tuesday, November 1. During this period, individuals can renew their coverage, explore the various policy options for the first time or see if they can save money.
Thousands of Connecticut residents have dedicated their careers to public service. The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program recognizes this choice with complete student loan cancellation after 10 years of public service work and loan payments.