By: Dirk Perrefort
August 18, 2009
DANBURY — Two local lawmakers have been appointed to a legislative task force charged with planning the state’s response to children affected by the recession.
The task force will look into ways the state can respond to the declining conditions for children resulting from the economic slowdown.
The panel will also look at state budget implications, identify trends related to housing, employment and child care, and make recommendations to legislative leaders.
Rep. Jason Bartlett, D-Bethel, and Rep. DebraLee Hovey, R-Monroe, have been appointed to the bipartisan panel, which was created by House Speaker Chris Donovan.
“The creation of this task force is important because it shows that our state is taking a proactive step forward to address these problems now instead of waiting until the country comes out of this recession,” Bartlett said.
“Evidence shows that children will feel the economic impact of a recession far into the future.”
Hovey, a special-education consultant who also provides advocacy for families, said the state has always done a pretty good job of taking care of its children.
“We in Connecticut view our children as a resource for our future,” she said, “and we are very cognizant of how the recession is going to have an impact on that future.”
Hovey said children can’t excel unless their basic needs are met, and the state’s economically challenged are the most vulnerable. Hovey, whose district includes Newtown, said she hopes the panel will also consider the impact of the recession on neonatal care.
“This group has the capacity for developing some innovative ideas and that could be very exciting for the state,” she said.
Hovey added that the state’s financial constraints will have to be considered, along with the impact budget revisions and cuts will have on children.
“One of the things I will advocate strongly for is looking at what we can do within the financial constraints we have,” she said.
The panel is scheduled to have its first meeting next month.
Contact Dirk Perrefort at email@example.com or at 203-731-3358.
Task force on Children in the Recession May examine: Implications of budget proposals related to children. Identify trends and research related to housing, employment, child care, homelessness and unemployment. For more information on the task force, log onto the Internet at www.cga.ct.gov/coc/taskforce.htm.