Senator Kelly Urges Gov. Lamont to Reverse Policy That Hurts Nonprofits During the Pandemic

July 31, 2020

Senator Kelly Urges Gov. Lamont to Reverse Policy Precluding Certain Nonprofits from Receiving Coronavirus Relief Funds


HARTFORD – Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) joined all 14 members of the Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus in writing to Governor Ned Lamont this week urging him to reverse the administration’s decision to preclude nonprofit providers that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) grants from receiving any Coronavirus Relief Funds.


The lawmakers say this policy pulls the rug out from under frontline workers. They worry this will claw back funds many nonprofits have already budgeted for and are counting on to pay for vital supplies and personal protective equipment not covered by PPP grants.


“This policy penalizes the very same people we all recognize are heroes, simply because they received unrelated federal funding that their organizations were entitled to in order to hold them over and pay for unrelated expenses,” Connecticut Senate Republicans wrote.


“Your administration’s new policy not only penalizes nonprofit providers and frontline workers for doing everything right, it also breaks promises made to provide additional funding. Many nonprofits were notified by the state of anticipated Coronavirus Relief Funds they were expected to receive. They used those numbers provided by the state to budget for expensive items such as telehealth equipment, temperature taking equipment, PPE supplies and renovations to make their facilities that provide essential services comply with social distancing requirements. To backtrack and deny the funds these nonprofits were counting on leaves them vulnerable and struggling,” they wrote.


“Nonprofit providers in Connecticut provide vital health care services, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and domestic violence services. They feed families in need and provide shelter. Their employees are heroes who have risen to the challenge of continuing to care for people during a pandemic. The new policy announced by your administration is a short-sighted blow to the organizations that protect the most vulnerable.”


The lawmakers emphasized that the Paycheck Protection Program was designed to help small businesses and nonprofits keep employees on payroll, holding them over for a short period of time and avoiding unemployment. It does not cover the costs of many pandemic related expenses which is why other federal funds were made available to states.


“The Paycheck Protection Program was never intended to be a be-all end-all relief program. Especially for nonprofit providers, which have extremely high expenses related to the pandemic and the costs of personal protective equipment not covered by PPP grants, additional relief was always needed to help them afford these lifesaving items and cover other costs. Federal funding has been made available, and they are entitled to receive assistance,” they wrote.


The letter was signed by Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos, Senator Eric Berthel, Senator Gennaro Bizzarro, Senator Dan Champagne, Senator Paul Formica, Senator Tony Hwang, Senator Kevin Kelly, Senator John A. Kissel, Senator George Logan, Senator Henri Martin, Senator Craig Miner, Senator Rob Sampson and Senator Heather Somers.