Hartford WFP Council members call for a one-month state shutdown paired with economic relief.
Hartford, CT - With COVID infection and death rates surging in Connecticut and across the country, and families considering whether to travel for the holidays, we are at a crucial decision point. We have known for some time that leadership and support would not come from the federal government, so now, more than ever, we need Governor Lamont to step up, and not just with guidance and suggestions. It is time for a statewide shutdown and, most importantly, statewide economic relief.
Governor Lamont has said that school closures should be a choice for towns and cities. Without income replacement, that is a false choice. Hartford parents can't afford to stay home with their children the way parents in some of the state's wealthier towns can. Speaking in a live community discussion on Thursday, November 19th, experts from Wheeler Clinic and Yale said that a well-managed, monthlong shutdown could stop this surge in its tracks. But that can't happen without economic help for Connecticut's working people.
That's why we're calling on Governor Lamont to use his extraordinary emergency powers and the state's 3-billion-dollar rainy day fund to impose a shutdown with real income replacement. Connecticut is home to 19 Fortune 500 companies and many more with vast capital reserves. The Governor can negotiate with our wealthiest employers to keep paying their employees and contractors during a monthlong shutdown. The state can continue to pay its employees. And for everyone else, he can tap the rainy day fund to provide $2,000 to every adult who is without income. With those measures in place, he can close schools and businesses, impose strict travel and public gathering requirements, and, most importantly, rally Connecticut residents to work together to defeat this pandemic.
If we invest for a month now, we can emerge stronger and healthier in the new year, and be better able to move forward. We can take advantage of the resources we have for everyone's benefit, and serve as an example to the nation. We can rebuild the economy, but we can't raise the dead!