The state is also expected to receive more money

legislators seek to blunt economic impact of virus

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Sports Bristol Central Bristol Eastern St. Ned Lamont are considering additional ways to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus on residents and businesses, as well as the state’s overall economy.

With the General Assembly on a temporary pause because of the outbreak a delay that will eat up valuable time in an already short, three month legislative session there’s interest in prioritizing a legislative response to the outbreak as well as passing major bills such as the state budget.

Discussions among legislative leaders and the governor are planned this week as official legislative business has been postponed at the state Capitol until at least March 30. The session is scheduled to adjourn May 6.

“People need to stop worrying about their pet bills, their initiatives that they really care about, and start focusing on this big picture of long term economic recovery,” said Rep. Vincent Candelora, R North Branford, the deputy GOP leader in the House of Representatives who will be part of the closed door discussions.

## ## The owner of Connecticut Sportsplex, an indoor/outdoor recreation attraction in North Branford, Candelora said he’s already planning for large scale layoffs at his business because of the virus. He suggested lawmakers suspend the recent minimum wage increase to $11 an hour. Another increase to $12 an hour is scheduled for October. Numerous venues across the state have postponed events and various businesses, including restaurants, have already reported a downturn in customers.

“Frankly, the retail/entertainment industry was going to have a hard enough time implementing all these costs that the legislature put on us last session. And now you add in a pandemic and you’re going to see massive failure,” he said.

Joe Brennan, president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said he’s urging lawmakers to “do no harm” when they finally return to Hartford.

“There’s a lot of things that they’re still pushing that would make things worse instead of better,” he said. “Anything that’s going to make it more expensive, more burdens, more mandates for whatever just no don’t go there.”

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, COVID 19, the illness caused by the virus, can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

At least 20 people have tested positive for the virus in Connecticut, including a case announced Sunday of a Hartford man who received treatment at UConn Health and has been released with instructions to quarantine himself at home. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said at a news conference there likely will be hundreds or thousands of cases in the city. On Friday, the governor announced the state Department of Economic and Community Development will defer loan payments for three months for those businesses impacted by COVID 19 that are part of the state’s Small Business Express program. There are approximately 800 outstanding loans with an aggregate loan balance of approximately $110 million.

Sen. Cathy Osten, D Sprague, the co chairman of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, said she expects the yet to be finalized state budget will need to include possibly up to $22 million in new funding for everything from testing supplies to replacement staffing costs if certain state workers become ill. That’s in addition to the $8.1 million Connecticut is expected to see in the first allotment of federal assistance. The state is also expected to receive more money under legislation that cleared Congress early Saturday morning.

A former employee at the Department of Correction, Osten said prison workers have told her they may “get frozen and have to stay there” if there’s an outbreak of the virus in a prison and a subsequent lock down. Osten said those workers would need to be replaced with other people.

In 2013, she was selected as a California Endowment

Meet the Team

Commanding a staff of seven full time professional journalists, three full time sales representatives and an army of community contributors, he on a quest to figure out how to make online local news viable and sustainable.

He was the co founder and editor and publisher of the South Coast Beacon, a weekly community newspaper that made its debut in 2002, won the California Newspaper Publishers Association General Excellence Award the following year and went bust in 2005. Not having the sense to get a real job, he turned his attention to the Internet, where the overhead is lower and the optimism knows no boundaries.

Bill moonlights as board chairman of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Santa Barbara Club, Santa Barbara Partners in Education and the Westmont College Foundation. He also a member of the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism Drug Abuse Fighting Back Steering Committee.

He has served as senior warden at All Saints By the Sea Episcopal Church, where he completed two separate terms as a Vestry member, and is a past board member of All Saints Parish School. He also a past member of the statewide organizing committee of Common Sense California, which is now part of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University School of Public Policy.

In 2008, Bill was named Entrepreneur of the Year by both the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara Technology Industry Association. In 2012, he received the national Journalism Education Association Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award in recognition of Noozhawk work with The Charger Account, the student news website at Dos Pueblos High School. He and Noozhawk are founding members of the Local Independent Online News Publishers Association (LION).

He was a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow (Class of 2011) at USC Annenberg School for Communication Journalism, and was the architect of Prescription for Abuse, a six month Noozhawk team project exploring the misuse and abuse of prescription medications in Santa Barbara County.

Bill and his wife, Missy, live in Montecito with their latest Alaskan malamute, Sadie. They have three grown children, all of whom have worked for Noozhawk.

From 2003 to early 2012, he served as vice president of news for Lee Central Coast Newspapers, leading the Santa Maria Times and supervising the Lompoc Record, the Santa Ynez Valley News and other local Lee publications.

## ## He previously served as publisher and editor of the weekly South Coast Beacon, which he helped establish, and as executive editor and managing editor of the Santa Barbara News Press, where he spent much of his career prior to its sale by The New York Times. He also has worked for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo County and as a private consultant.

Tom has a reputation throughout the region as a tough but fair editor, whose staffs consistently generate top notch news coverage in print and online. He has guided scores of investigative and in depth projects on topics as varied as homelessness, wildfires, affordable housing, youth violence, earthquake risks, and the future of agriculture. Many of these projects have won awards at the state and national level.

He holds a bachelor degree in English from UC Santa Barbara, where he was editor in chief of The Daily Nexus student newspaper. He is a past board member of the California Society of Newspaper Editors, and also has been affiliated with the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the California Chicano News Media Association and other national media organizations.

Tom and his wife, Joan, live in Goleta, and have two grown children. She possesses more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the Santa Barbara community, and received her bachelor degree in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara.

Before joining Noozhawk in 2012, she was division director for Office Team, a subsidiary of Robert Half International, and led her staff to be the top producing team in the region. She previously was sales and marketing director at the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce, and spent 14 years at the Santa Barbara News Press, developing the company New Media Department in the 1990s and serving as online sales manager before leaving in the mid 2000s.

Kim previously served as Santa Barbara Chapter board president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, is a board member of the Multimedia Arts Design Academy at Santa Barbara High School, and is a past board member of Downtown Santa Barbara, and the Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers.

She and her husband, Woodie, a retired United States Navy captain and a pilot for FedEx, live in Santa Barbara with their twin daughters, Brooke and Sierra.

Reach Kim at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her at 805.456.7198

Giana Magnoli, managing editor

Giana Magnoli came to Noozhawk right after graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a journalism degree. After working at the Mustang Daily for three years and interning at the Pacific Coast Business Times, she decided to jump aboard the enterprising online news train and moved down to Santa Barbara. She started out as a general assignment reporter, was named news editor in 2014 and, a year later, was promoted to managing editor. In 2013, she was selected as a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow at USC Annenberg School for Communication Journalism. Most recently she served as associate editor of the Times and managing editor of the Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News. An award winning journalist, she grew up in San Luis Obispo County and earned her bachelor degree in journalism from Fresno State University.

Before joining Noozhawk in 2016, he worked for five years at Presidio Sports, an online only sports site that ceased publication at the end of 2015. While there, he covered the athletic teams at the area eight high schools and three colleges, as well as the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table and the Semana Nautica summer sports festival.

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