In March, as COVID devastated our communities, I co-sponsored and voted for the CARES Act, a wide-ranging economic rescue package that provided rapid and meaningful relief for individuals and businesses through a series of programs, including the CARES Act Recovery Assistance. Thousands of local businesses received forgivable loans. Most people received $1,200 direct support checks to allow them to continue to participate in the economy.

Providing small businesses with much-needed capital during COVID-19 is crucial to keeping our economy afloat. The small businesses throughout the 17 towns in our district are essential centers of life and employment. Supporting them, and the families and communities they serve is a top priority for me. 

During COVID-19, my staff and I have worked on behalf of countless numbers of challenged constituents, including many in Easton. We’ve helped process thousands of unemployment claims and helped hundreds of people obtain their stimulus checks. We’re still working on casework around the district. If you need help, please contact my office. 

To protect our elections, CARES ACT funding supported our Secretary of State and local elections totaled $10 million through election grants. Grants were also received to help protect Connecticut’s election cybersecurity infrastructure from foreign interference by helping towns strengthen their local election infrastructure. 

Towns were offered $200,000 in 50/50 matching grants to replace outdated equipment, $350,000 in Cybersecurity Risk Assessments by the Connecticut National Guard and the Secure Polls Grant of $220,000 conditioned on completing cybersecurity training and risk assessments by the Connecticut National Guard. The most recent aid for the general election included: 

– Absentee Ballot Support Grant to Give Town Clerks the Resources Necessary — $1.4 million

– Safe Polls Grant to Ensure Safe Polling Places — $865,500

– Election Day Registration Access Grant to Help Registrars Handle Increased Election Day Registration Volume — $50,000

We’ve seen our community members face challenges when it comes to health care during the pandemic as well.

We should expand healthcare access by offering everyone access to Medicare if they choose it.  This will cover the majority of our population and help the most vulnerable. I will continue to protect and defend the Affordable Health Care Act and coverage for pre-existing conditions, including chronic illnesses. I support changing and updating the ACA instead of repealing it. Some changes we could make include: creating a public option, expanding tax credits so more moderate-and middle-income families and senior citizens can afford to purchase coverage through the exchanges and expanding cost-sharing reduction, which helps cap out of pocket costs. 

I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Easton and Connecticut’s Fourth District. Together, we will continue to recover from the crises we have been facing. I hope I can count on your support on or before Tuesday, Nov. 3. Thank you. 

Editor’s Note: This is Himes’s first political statement. Per the Easton Courier Political Campaign Publication Policies, candidates may submit two statements, explaining their positions.

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