HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – On Tuesday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Webster Bank will be providing interest-free loans to the 'essential' federal employees in CT who aren't being paid during the shutdown.
Lamont made the announcement at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, saying of the 1,500 federal employees impacted by the shutdown in CT, about 80 percent of them are considered "essential."
Therefore, they are not eligible for unemployment compensation. Those workers must show up for work but aren't getting paid.
"There is something we can do as the state of Connecticut and what I can do as the governor, and that's look after the 1,500 federal employees, essential and non-essential who are now not being paid for the work they are doing," Lamont said.
The state is teaming up with Webster Bank and the Connecticut Bankers Association to make the loan program available.
"We are pleased to provide those interest free loans to those citizens and, for me, what's really encouraging in the discussions with the governor is how quickly we can solve problems when the government works closely with the business community," said John Ciulla, CEO of Webster Bank.
Details about a repayment scheduled and timeline of when the loans will be available have not yet been released.
The bulk of the federal workers are TSA employees, as well as EPA employees.
Lamont said he's hoping more banks come forward to offer loans as well, if the shutdown continues.
Tuesday marked day 25 of the partial government shutdown.
The shutdown is the longest in federal closure history.
Both President Donald Trump and the Democrats refused to budge over building a $5.7 billion border wall.
As a result, there are 800,000 federal workers who are working without pay or being furloughed.
Lamont is also encouraging workers who are considered "non-essential" and are not required to report to work, to contact the state's Dept. of Labor or their local American Job Center for unemployment assistance.
He's also calling on municipalities to delay collecting property taxes from impacted employees.