Rep. Fishbein's Connecticut Coronavirus Update - 4/1/2020
Governor Lamont this evening announced another Executive Order – Executive Order 7S.
Executive Order 7S requires DECD issue and enforce “Safe Stores Rules” to protect workers, customers and others engaging with retail establishments, offers a grace period for insurance policies in some circumstances, provides the ability for liquor stores to extend their credit past 30 days, and alters Sportech’s daily requirement to file taxes to weekly. The Order also waives certain public notice and legislative hearing requirements for the Department of Social Services, requires municipalities provide for temporary tax forbearance of property tax collection and reduced interest on delinquent tax payments to property owners under certain conditions, allows suspension of certain in-person votes of residents or taxpayers on certain fiscal decisions, and allows recipients of the homeowners’ elderly/disabled circuit breaker tax relief program and homeowners’ elderly/disabled freeze tax relief program to receive the benefit for the coming year without recertifying their eligibility. Further, tonight’s order allows 34 municipalities to continue with their scheduled 2020 revaluations, extends the deadline to taxpayers to file income and expense statement to August 15, and suspends certain foreclosures through non-judicial tax sales until 30 days after the end of the COVID-19 emergency.
Executive Order 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.
Executive Order 7S can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7S.pdf
The governor’s full press release can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/04-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-April-1
DCF Temporarily Closing Southwest CT Offices
As we continue efforts to keep our youth, families and workforce safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision has been made to temporarily close regional offices in the Southwest corner of Connecticut due to their bordering New York state.
Effective today, the Danbury, Bridgeport, Norwalk, New Haven and Milford offices are closed. Yet, this not a business closure as staff are actively responding to new reports, assessing the supports families require and are collaborating with our partners via remote technology.
Approximately 80% of our staff are teleworking and are adjusting their activities given the current demands in our communities. The best form of contact with staff is via e-mail until cell phones numbers can be exchanged with you.
We would also like you to know that the Department has established a website where our internal and external communications can be found regarding our ongoing operations. The site also includes links to supportive services in the communities for our youth and families. The website can be accessed here: https://portal.ct.gov/DCF/COVID-19/COVID-19
Furthermore, we have also established an e-mail address specific to questions you may have in regards to our planning and approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. That e-mail address is: DCF.COVIDemail@example.com
We are strong and we are all in this together.
As of 4:00 p.m. tonight – Wednesday, April 1st – the state has diagnosed a total of 3557 cases of Coronavirus. Updated virus totals can be accessed here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
Governor Lamont also said the state death toll related to Coronavirus has risen to 85.
Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut
Updated 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Total patients who tested positive: 3557
Fairfield County: 1986
Hartford County: 469
Litchfield County: 131
Middlesex County: 66
New Haven County: 611
New London County: 29
Tolland County: 61
Windham County: 19
Pending address validation: 185