State Reps. Larry Miller and Jason Perillo, both of whom represent Shelton, have voted to establish a privately funded pool of funds to benefit the Newtown police, teachers and emergency workers who have been affected by psychological trauma since the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund would cover mental health issues through private donations. The bill had a special provision in it covering families of those administrators killed at Sandy Hook, assuring they will receive proper support.
A lone gunman killed 20 first grade students and six educators at the school on Dec. 14 before killing himself. The perpetrator also murdered his mother at their Newtown home earlier on the same day.
Miller: Provides some support
“There is little in our power to do or say to provide relief for the families of Sandy Hook who lost loved ones,” Miller said, “or for the first responders who came upon a scene no one should ever have to answer the call for. However, this bill allows us to do some important things for them, however small.
“Decency dictates,” he continued, “that we must offer this support to those who have been directly traumatized by this event, and that we take steps to help the families receive the full benefits they should be entitled to.”
Perillo: ‘An unimaginable scene’
According to Perillo, “While we know that any act of the legislature does little to relieve the pain and sense of loss of loved ones who perished at Sandy Hook, it is important that we take these steps to make sure that these families receive what they should, and that those first responders who took charge at an unimaginable scene last December are properly cared and provided for as well.”
United Way, state agencies to play role in fund
The United Way of Western Connecticut will handle the processing of the donations. The fund will be administered by the state Office of Victims Services, with the state Treasurer’s Office managing its assets.
Miller and Perillo are both Republicans. Miller’s 122nd House District includes parts of Shelton and Stratford. Perillo’s 113th House District is located entirely within Shelton.