October 11, 2013/Press Releases

Mayor Mark Jokes about the Shutdown on the Radio While Danbury Feels the Economic Pain

(Hartford, Connecticut) — This morning, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton appeared on the Chaz and AJ morning show and had some good laughs around the Republican Tea Party federal government shutdown that’s hurting Danbury and the rest of Connecticut. In a segment about a petition to end the government shutdown so people can get back to work, Mark Boughton partakes in jokes involving the shutdown and even laughs at a derogatory reference to the “special team.”

Meanwhile, back in Danbury, children, expectant mothers, veterans, senior citizens, small businesses and federal employees are all dealing with the effects of the Republican Tea Party shutdown.

“It’s very concerning that Mark Boughton would partake in cheap laughs on the radio about the government shutdown, when so many citizens of Danbury and Connecticut are feeling the real pain of the Tea Party shutdown,” said Jonathan Harris, former West Hartford Mayor and Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director.” This is not leadership and it’s certainly not what our veterans, small business owners, parents and seniors in Connecticut want in a governor. Mayor Boughton should be focused on telling his colleagues in Washington to end this Tea Party shutdown so Connecticut can get back to work, not laughing about it on the radio.”


Federal Women, Infant, And Children’s Program Ran Out Of Federal  Monies, Helped 2,500 Danbury Families. According to the Danbury News Times, “[James] Maloney said he is very concerned about funding for the Women, Infant and Children’s program, which provides food assistance and nutrition education to pregnant women and mothers of young children. There is only enough funding for that program, which helps about 2,500 families in the city, to run though Tuesday. Maloney said, however, that he believes a fix is in the works on the state level if federal funding isn’t available. ‘The program helps people at a crucial time in their lives,’ he said. ‘This is the most sensitive time of human development, and taking away assistance during that time is not something you can recover from.'” [Danbury News Times, 10/8/13]

Danbury Head Start Program Is Funded Through December 2013. According to the Danbury News Times, “James Maloney, chief executive officer of the Connecticut Institute for Communities, which operates the local Head Start program, said unlike programs in Bridgeport and other cities that were forced to close their doors, Danbury’s Head Start program works on a fiscal year that runs from January to December. That means the program is financed through federal funds approved in the last fiscal year — not the current fiscal year for which spending is being debated in Washington. Danbury will have enough funding to operate through the end of the year, by which time most officials are hopeful that the federal government will be back in operation.” [Danbury News Times, 10/8/13]

Danbury Municipal Airport Official Said The FAA Would Fund The Airport’s Flight Control Tower Staff Through The End Of October 2013. According to 98Q FM, “Danbury Municipal Airport Administrator Paul Estefan says the recall does and doesn’t affect them.  There are no airliners at DXR, but there are charter operators.  If one of the operators needed an inspector, one would be called in.  So he says they are waiting to see how this pans out. Another issue Danbury Airport is waiting to hear about is the future of contract air traffic controllers. Estefan says the FAA is claiming to only have enough money for the control towers to operate through the end of October.  He says that has Administrators at small airports across the country on edge.” [98Q FM, 10/9/13]

Danbury Federal Correctional Institution Continued To Operate Through The Government Shutdown. According to the Danbury News Times, ” The Federal Correctional Institution on Route 37 in Danbury apparently was operating as usual, though a prison spokesman declined to comment when reached Tuesday. Employees answered the phones at the prison and the chatter of prison guards’ radios could be heard in the background. President Barack Obama has said that prison guards would be among the essential workers who would continue reporting for duty during the shutdown.” [Danbury News Times, 10/2/13]

Federal Correctional Officers Continued To Work Through Government Shutdown, But Were Not Paid. [NPR, 10/9/13]

A shutdown could delay financial support for Connecticut’ small businesses. In FY12, the SBA’s flagship 7(a) and 504 loans programs supported 571,383 jobs and approved 53,847 applications over the course of 12 months, including 576 in Connecticut for a total of $184,570,300 in loans. On average, $534,986 in loans was approved for small businesses in Connecticut each day. [Small Business Administration FY14 Budget Justification; SBA]

A shutdown stops support for small businesses to grow and sell their products abroad. During a shutdown, the Export-Import Bank stops all new financing for U.S. exporters. In FY12, the Bank helped support an estimated 255,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies throughout the United States. 88% (3,313) of all the Bank’s transactions were for small businesses totaling $6.1 billion. In 2012, 63% of the exporters in Connecticut assisted by the Bank were small businesses. [Ex-Im; Ex-IM, 2012]

A shutdown endangers benefits owed to our nation’s veterans. The VA will run out of money to pay mandatory benefits for existing beneficiaries by the end of October. This would affect disabled veterans, poor wartime veterans, survivors, and students. Many veterans call centers, regional offices, and business centers will be closed to the public. During the 1995-96 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans. Connecticut is home to 207,759 veterans. [Army Times, 2/3/11; CNN, 1/4/96; VA; Army Times, 9/28/13; Washington Post, 9/27/13; VA, 2013]

A government shutdown compromises young children’s school readiness. A government shutdown could delay funding for 22 Head Start providers across the country, jeopardizing early childhood education and care for the 18,000 children and families those programs serve. Ongoing grants to these 22 organizations were scheduled to be renewed in October. During FY12, an estimated 1,600 Head Start agencies served over 950,000 children, including 7,357 children in Connecticut. [CAP, 4/11; HHS; CRS, 1/9/13]

A shutdown would end nutritional support for pregnant women and children. If the government shuts down, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will only be able to continue to serve participants for one week. After that, no federal funds would be available to support WIC’s clinical services, food benefits and administrative costs. Average monthly participation in FY12 totaled more than 8.9 million, including 4.7 million children and 2.1 million infants. In FY13, roughly 54,174 women and children in Connecticut participated in the WIC program. [USDA, 9/27/13; FNS, 9/6/13 USDA, 9/6/13]

A shutdown could put one-in-four of Connecticut’s 9,000 federal employees out of work. Federal employees around the country would potentially be furloughed in the event of a government shutdown. These workers may see reductions in their pay from the time they were forced to stay home because the government was shuttered. Nationwide, more than 800,000 federal workers, accounting for approximately 28% of the federal workforce, are facing furlough. [Census; Washington Post, 9/23/13; Wall Street Journal, 10/1/13]

Social Security services will be stalled. Although checks for current Social Security benefits would still go out during a shutdown, many Social Security services will be not be available such as obtaining a replacement Social Security card and preventing improper Social Security payments. As a result of furloughs and service cuts during the last shutdown, 800,000 callers were denied service on the Social Security Administration’s 800 number. In 2012, 640,252 people received Social Security benefits in Connecticut. [SSA History; SAA, 2012]

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