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Biden making a return visit to Connecticut on Friday

Gov. Ned Lamont’s early and unwavering support of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race appears to be paying off with the president arriving in Connecticut Friday for the second time this year.

President Joe Biden will arrive on Air Force One and then visit a Hartford child care center before heading to UConn for the dedication of the Dodd Center for Human Rights.

“The Biden administration has taken notice of how Connecticut has continued to put families first. Our state has made historic investments in early childhood education to provide support for families in unprecedented ways,’' said Max Reiss, a spokesman for Gov. Ned Lamont. “What we’re doing in Connecticut is what the President is looking to do at the national level and we’re proud to serve as a model.”

Biden also visited Connecticut in May when he delivered the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The president, vice president, first lady, secretary of education, commerce secretary, and labor secretary have all made visits to Connecticut since Biden took office in January.

“We’ve got a friend in the White House,” Lamont said after Biden beat Donald Trump last November. “That’s a big deal.’’

Lamont’s former commissioner of education, Miguel Cardona, was tapped by Biden to run the federal Department of Education. Former Sen. Chris Dodd also remains a close associate of the president.

For Connecticut, the Biden visits highlights the impact of about $300 million in federal money for child care programs since the pandemic began. Connecticut’s relatively quick distribution of this funding has been a model for other states.

“This funding really did save child care. We were forecast to lose more than 40% of our supply,’' said Beth Bye, commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood Education.

“These funds were a total life raft for programs. It really did sustain Connecticut’s child care supply,’' she said. The massive federal funding infrastructure bills before Congress would help preserve these programs, which Bye said are critical for helping parents return to work.

Biden is expected to arrive at Bradley International Airport around noon before traveling to Hartford, where officials hope to still win funding for some of the state’s costliest infrastructure proposals — a massive rebuild of the I-84 and I-91 interchange and a radical expansion of commuter rail between New York and Boston.

In Hartford Biden will visit a child development center in Hartford to promote his “build back better” agenda and the importance of investing in child care.

After the visit to the child development center, Biden will then travel to Storrs, where he will be welcomed by his old colleague and close friend, Chris Dodd.

“I’m deeply grateful to UConn for recognizing me and my family by dedicating The Dodd Center for Human Rights’' Dodd said earlier this week. “I’m honored that my good friend President Biden is joining us to mark this occasion.’'

Motorists are asked to avoid parts of Hartford in the greater Broad Street area Friday when the presidential motorcade and visit shuts down some streets.

 

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