Story By John Murray

If you saw $250 lying on the ground, would you walk past it? Your neighbor across the street strolled right past $750 earlier this week and kept on walking. Weird, right?

Inexplicably, there are tens of thousands of Connecticut residents who are walking past easy money – between $250 and $750 per family – and leaving it untouched.

The money sits in a pandemic relief fund authorized by the Connecticut State Legislature to help families through the historic COVID crisis.

“It takes two minutes to fill out and form, and a family with three dependent children can get up to $750,” Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said. “The process is the easiest thing the government has done, and that’s saying a lot.”

O’Leary hosted a press conference in front of Waterbury City Hall on Tuesday morning where Governor Ned Lamont, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, State Representative Geraldo Reyes Jr., and State Representative Sean Scanlon all joined Waterbury’s mayor in imploring the public to fill out the form and get the money.

More than 100 children from the YMCA daycare and summer work programs attended the press conference, were offered free ice cream afterwards and were sent home with flyers to take to their parents about the child tax rebate program.

The deadline to fill out the form is Sunday, July 31, 2022. To apply online, visit and click the icon that says, “2022 CT Child Tax Rebate.”

“90% of the families in Waterbury qualify for this,” O’Leary said, “and we’re trying to get the word out.”

Governor Ned Lamont has been barnstorming the state imploring qualified families to fill out the form by July 31st and get their tax rebate.

There have been press conferences, statewide media has blitzed the airwaves and print publications with information, and in Waterbury the school system used its ParentSquare contact system to reach the families of Waterbury’s 20,000 public school students.

And at the press conference Tuesday morning in Waterbury the Governor’s Office asked State Representative Geraldo Reyes to deliver the message in Spanish, and he did. Afterwards, he conducted several interviews with Spanish media to further hammer home the unique opportunity eligible families have to snare relief money.

State Representative Geraldo Reyes delivered the message in Spanish.

“We are in hard times,” Reyes said, “and this is an opportunity to put $750 in your pocket.”

The commissioner of the state Department of Revenue Services, Mark Boughton, reported that his department has received about 180,000 applications representing 275,000 children under age 18. Boughton said that was only 56% of the 320,000 eligible families in Connecticut.

The bill was championed by State Representative Sean Scanlon from Guilford, and he as on the steps of Waterbury City Hall Tuesday imploring the public to respond.

“We are doing whatever we can to make sure people know they’re eligible for this, and that they have to sign up,” Scanlon said. “I think it’s about leaving no stone unturned.”

After the press conference Governor Lamont had an Italian Ice and asked to stroll through downtown Waterbury with Mayor O’Leary and the two men sauntered along Leavenworth Street, Center Street, Bank Street and Grand Street chatting with city residents and catching up on statewide politics.

Governor Lamont enjoyed a cherry Italian Ice after the press conference.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, left, and Governor Lamont interacted with YMCA kids at the ice cream truck after the press conference.

Governor Lamont strolled around the plaza in front of Waterbury City Hall chatting with community leaders and residents, and Waterbury community police officer Anthony Tanganelli, who busted out laughing at a Lamont quip.

Governor Lamont faces a challenge this November from Republican Bob Stefanowski and now that the legislative session is completed, he is turning his attention towards re-election. Capturing the votes in the big cities is paramount for another Lamont term, and Waterbury is again expected to play a big role. Lamont is pictured here walking along Center Street with Mayor O’Leary talking politics.

Marcus Stallworth is the owner of Stallworth Counseling Services in downtown Waterbury and stopped O’Leary and Lamont to discuss an issue.