image description

Voices Speaking

February 27, 2019

Voices from the Capitol: Disparity Data, Youth in Foster Care, Governor’s Budget

In today’s update:

  • Sign On Letter to Protect Access to Educational Disparity Data
  • Protecting Youth in Foster Care: House Bill 6403
  • Governor’s Budget Proposal
  • Our Recent Testimony

Sign On Letter to Protect Access to Educational Disparity Data

We need your help to ensure that Connecticut residents, advocates, and policymakers continue to have access to data that enable us to measure and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in education among our state’s children and youth. Senate Bill 851, which had a public hearing in the General Assembly’s Education Committee and could come up for a vote soon, would limit the ability to examine education data by student ethnicity, making it difficult to detect ethnic disparities in access to high-quality education or to measure the impact of reforms on specific student populations.

Please consider adding your organization’s name or your individual name to a sign on letter to the Education Committee calling on them to oppose S.B. 851. If you can sign on as an organization or individual, please complete our sign on form by the end of the day Thursday, February 28.  For more information, see our sign-on letter, fact sheet, and testimony on this issue.

Please sign on today!

Protecting Youth in Foster Care: House Bill 6403

During adolescence, youth should have experiences that contribute to their development into successful adults. These experiences can help them to develop and explore their identities. Some experiences in foster care – such as placement moves that result in changing schools – can disrupt a youth’s life and affect their sense of self. As part of our annual Youth at the Capitol Day research report and forum, Connecticut Voices heard from youth in foster care that they often feel disconnected from their schools and communities, valued the freedom to express their own identities, and need support in exploring their identities.

A new bill – House Bill 6403, An Act Concerning a Children in Care Bill of Rights and Expectations and the Sibling Bill of Rights – includes multiple provisions that directly address the concerns of these Connecticut youth. On Thursday, February 28, the General Assembly’s Committee on Children will hold a hearing on this bill, and Connecticut Voices will be testifying in support of this legislation. For more information, see our fact sheet on this bill.

Governor’s Budget Proposal

On February 20, Governor Lamont recently released his state budget proposal for the next two fiscal years (from July 2019 through June 2021). You can watch a video of the Governor’s budget address, read a transcript of his speech, and see the details of the budget on the Governor’s website.

You can provide your input on the Governor’s proposals at upcoming public hearings. Subcommittees of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the Governor’s budget bill (House Bill 7148) in the next week. The following are some key subcommittee hearings. The committees will hear testimony from the public at the times below and from state officials earlier in the day.

  • Health on Friday, March 1, 5:30 p.m.
  • Judicial and Corrections on Monday, March 4, 6:30 p.m.
  • Human Services on Tuesday, March 5, 4:30 p.m.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education on Wednesday, March 6, 4:00 p.m.
  • Higher Education on Thursday, March 7, 7:30 p.m.

For more details on the hearings and how to submit testimony, see the Appropriations Committee schedule.

Connecticut Voices is currently analyzing the impact of the Governor’s budget on children and families, and we’ll be sharing our summary in early March. Watch our website and email newsletter!

Our Recent Testimony

You can always find all of our legislative testimony on our website. We delivered the following testimony on bills in the last two weeks:

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Child Welfare, Education