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Needleman: Drug Take Back Day; Investing in Workforce Development

By Norm Needleman, State Senator.

Please take a minute to read a couple of local updates and a few remarks to recognize Drug Take Back Day. Plus, I have great news to share about Connecticut investing in workforce development and a proposal that could reduce taxes for a majority of businesses in the state.

Drug Take Back Day – Tomorrow, April 24

Tomorrow, April 24 is Drug Take Back Day, with local police departments teaming with the Drug Enforcement Administration to provide the public with opportunities to dispose of excess, unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs. All events will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local police departments hosting events to provide drug disposal efforts include:

  • Chester – Chester Town Hall, 203 Middlesex Avenue, Chester: Knock on the door for police in Town Hall and you will be invited in to drop off prescriptions
  • East Haddam – East Haddam Police Department, 1 Plains Road, Moodus: Drug disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • East Hampton – East Hampton Police Department, 1 Community Drive
  • Haddam – Nutmeg Pharmacy, 23 Killingworth Road, Higganum
  • Westbrook – Resident Trooper’s Office, Teresa Mulvey Municipal Building, 866 Boston Post Road

Town & Regional Updates

Chester Sunday Market Announces Schedule: The Chester Sunday Market, held every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Main Street in Chester, will start its 2021 season on June 13, continuing through October 10. Each week will see fresh produce, breads, cheeses, jams, honey, meat, eggs and more – live music and a local brewery have been mentioned as additional attractions.

Shoreline Fire Departments to Hold Food Drive April 24: Tomorrow, Saturday, April 24, Connecticut shoreline fire departments will host a one-day food drive to collect non-perishable food for residents in need. Local fire stations will be open to receive donations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, with donations going to Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries food pantries; volunteers will further hold donation drives at grocery stores in Old Saybrook and Clinton, and Old Saybrook’s Parthenon Diner and Mirsina’s and Essex’s Scotch Plains Tavern will accept nonperishable donations during business hours through Saturday. Old Saybrook Fire, Westbrook Fire, Essex Fire, Clinton Fire and Chester Hose Company are among the departments accepting donations.

Proposal Announced to Use American Rescue Plan
Funds to Rebuild Connecticut Workforce

Governor Lamont has announced a plan to invest $103 million in funding that Connecticut is receiving from the American Rescue Plan Act to better ensure workers whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can access training programs aligned with industries that focus on the immediate hiring demands of employers, providing job seekers with skills supporting employment opportunities. While Connecticut is still struggling with unemployment related to the pandemic, with 140,000 unemployed individuals, the state is also seeing companies hiring at a record pace. The Governor’s proposal includes:

  • $95.5 million of that $103 million to be invested in reskilling and upskilling up to 9,000 displaced workers through training programs
  • $2 million will provide employment opportunities to 1,000 at-risk and disengaged youth during and beyond the summer
  • $3.7 million to extend the operating hours of ten Connecticut Technical Education and Career System programs to support hundreds of additional learners each year.
  • An additional $2 million will provide job training and educational support to 1,000 currently or previously incarcerated youth and adults to find high-quality jobs

Unemployment Trust Fund Restoration Proposal

State officials announced a proposal to restore the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, reducing taxes for the majority of Connecticut businesses as a result. The Connecticut unemployment insurance trust fund has been insolvent for 48 of the last 50 years, requiring borrowing from the federal government during recent economic downturns. The fund would reduce taxes on at least 73 percent of businesses by making several changes including increasing the taxable wage base, reducing maximum solvency rates and deferring unemployment benefits until the end of severance payments for all employees.

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