Letter - Representatives showed bi-partisan leadership

To the editor:

As someone who has been involved in the politics of Trumbull and the State of Connecticut in a number of forms for the last 12 years, I was pleased to see both Republican and Democratic representatives throughout the state come out this week questioning the governor’s extension of the state shutdown until May 20, a six-week extension.

The first representative was our own David Rutigliano. Like many of the representatives and senators in our state David is not only responsible for his constituents and listening to them, he is also an employer of over 300 people, who, in turn, support hundreds more. He can see the situation from a number of sides and the effect it is having not only on his neighbors but his fellow business owners and all their employees. All are struggling in one way or another.

The responsibility and well-being of all weigh heavy on them. As Democratic Majority Leader Matt Ritter said, they think about it “day and night.”

While we all continue to worry about the health aspect and no one wants to put anyone in danger, there is a fine line between slowly recovering and becoming the economic abyss, all while remembering that Connecticut is one of the few states that still has not recovered from the recession of 2008. Six weeks is far too long to have to wait for those metrics to be evaluated.

That is why, after watching Representative Rutigliano take a beating for daring to say this on social media, I was so pleased to see Ritter come out with the same request the following day. And what did they have the nerve to say? The same thing so many families are saying as they sit home not knowing if they can pay the bills, feed their families and for how long or if they will have a job or a business to go back to.

It is estimated anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent of small businesses will not survive if this “lock down” continues. And small businesses employ an etimated 60 percent to 80 percent of the workforce. Are you one of the many wondering those same things?

“I believe we need a balanced approach and predicting what May 20 will look like on April 9 is a mistake. The federal PPP provides for 8 weeks of payroll beginning when you get the loan. The Governor’s announcement has just foreclosed any of those businesses from using it.” — Rep. Rutigliano 4/9/20

“House Majority Leader Matt Ritter said Friday it’s time for legislative leaders to develop requirements and metrics for businesses to reopen. For instance, maybe hair salons could reopen at limited in-shop capacity, or even exclusively for younger clients less at risk of acquiring COVID-19, by mid-May, he said.” (April 10 Connecticut Post)

A balanced approach that addresses and starts discussions sooner rather than later? That’s not an unreasonable request.

Thank you David and Matt for your leadership.

Cindy Penkoff, District 2

Trumbull Republicans