Continuation of Payments
 to Public School Staff and Contractors
Executive Order No. 7R
G overnor Lamont recently issued Executive Order No. 7R, which enacts the following provisions:
Continuation of Funding for Boards of Education
The order requires the Connecticut State Department of Education to continue processing appropriated state grant funds intended to support boards of education through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, including ECS grants, payments for special education, and Choice programming. It also requires municipalities to continue providing funding to local boards of education as set forth in the approved annual school budgets.

Continuation of Payment of Public School Staff
The order requires school districts to continue to employ, or restore to employment if already laid off, and pay school staff who are directly employed by the local or regional boards of education.

Preservation of Student Transportation Services & Special Education Providers
The order requires local boards of education and municipalities to negotiate amendments to contracts related to student transportation and special education services with the goal of continuing to make payments to transportation and special education providers so they may compensate their active employees, sustain the continuity of service when school resumes, and require the contracted company to attest and provide reasonable documentation of the fact that it is charging only the actual and reasonable cost of sustaining wage and health insurance payments for active employees and fleet.

Restrictions on Entrance to State Parks, Forests, and other Lands
In light of significant visitors to certain state parks in recent days, the order gives the commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection the authorization to ban visitors from entering state parks and other lands under the agency’s control after the property has reached a capacity adequate to supporting implementation of social distancing policies to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Curbside Pickup of Alcoholic Beverages Permitted
The order authorizes package stores and grocery stores to permit the sale of curbside pickup of all alcoholic beverages allowed by their permit type in any space adjacent to their permit premise and during the days and hours allowed for legal sale.

Property Tax Deferrals

The administration is considering issuing an Executive Order to either require or provide towns with the option of deferring property tax payments for 90 days for individuals and businesses that attest that they have been financially impacted by COVID-19, subject to either a reduced interest rate or at no interest. Please let me know how this would impact your town's ability to fund critical services at this time.

Regional School District Budgets

Executive Order 7I , #14, requires Regional Boards of Education to adopt a budget for the July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 fiscal year without complying with any in-person budget adoption requirements, including annual district budget meetings requiring votes, referendum, and special district meetings.

The Governor's FAQs , which are updated on a regular basis, also provide that “Regional boards of education shall consult with the budget making authority in each of its member towns and ensure it has received and given due consideration to their input.”

Please stay safe and healthy! We are very proud of how our mayors, first selectmen, town managers and other municipal officials are responding during this crisis to protect the health and safety of residents. If we can be of any assistance, please let us know.

Thank you.

Betsy Gara