HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Help is on the way to federal employees in Connecticut affected by the government shutdown.

Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers approved emergency bank loans and Governor Ned Lamont signed his first legislation.

These loans will be available to about 2,000 federal employees in Connecticut.

These employees are not getting paid and this could help them from dipping into their savings and possibly going bankrupt.

Lamont has signed his first bill.

"I know dozens of people who have already gone to the bank to fill out applications,” said Lamont.

Lamont reached an agreement with Webster and People's Banks to provide interest free loans to federal employees affected by the government shutdown.

The bill requires the state to back the loans.

There were a few Republican lawmakers who voted against the legislation.

Some feel taxpayer money shouldn't be used to favor one group over another, but leaders on both sides say this federal employees are in a unique and difficult situation.

"They are caught in a real area we have never had before. They can't qualify for money, they can't get another job, they can't get unemployment,” Senator Len Fasano.

"This is a good example of private public partnership with these private banks something we have been pushing for many years,” said Representative Themis Klarides.

The bill passed overwhelmingly in both chambers, many calling it a hand up not a hand out.

There's also a provision that allows cities and towns to waive interest on property and car taxes until federal employees return to work.

"This is where government steps in to help these individuals. Someone made comment they are going to get back pay. What do they do in the meantime? They have mortgages to pay, credit card payments raking up,” said Representative Matt Ritter.

Federal employees can borrow up to $15,000.

They may not need all of it, but it’s a safety net to help keep them from going under until the shutdown is finally over.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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