Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5572

Public Act No. 04-238

AN ACT CONCERNING CHILD POVERTY AND THE USE OF PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN STATE CARE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There shall be a Child Poverty Council consisting of the following members or their designees: The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the House of Representatives, the Commissioners of Children and Families, Social Services, Correction, Mental Retardation, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Transportation, Public Health, Education, Economic and Community Development and Health Care Access, the Labor Commissioner, the Chairman of the Board of Governors for Higher Education, the Child Advocate, the chairperson of the State Prevention Council, the chairperson of the Children's Trust Fund and the executive director of the Commission on Children. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the secretary's designee shall be the chairperson. The council shall develop a ten-year plan, to begin upon the effective date of this section, to reduce the number of children living in poverty in the state by fifty per cent.

(b) The plan shall contain: (1) An identification and analysis of the occurrence of child poverty in the state, (2) an analysis of the long-term effects of child poverty on children, their families and their communities, (3) an analysis of costs of child poverty to municipalities and the state, (4) an inventory of state-wide public and private programs that address child poverty, (5) the percentage of the target population served by such programs and the current state funding levels, if any, for such programs, (6) an identification and analysis of any deficiencies or inefficiencies of such programs, and (7) procedures and priorities for implementing strategies to achieve a fifty per cent reduction in child poverty in the state by June 30, 2014. Such procedures and priorities shall include, but not be limited to, (A) vocational training and placement to promote career progression, for parents of children living in poverty, (B) educational opportunities, including higher education opportunities, and advancement for such parents and children including, but not limited to, preliteracy, literacy and family literacy programs, (C) housing for such parents and children, (D) day care and after-school programs and mentoring programs for such children and for single parents, (E) health care access for such parents and children including access to mental health services and family planning, (F) treatment programs and services, including substance abuse programs and services, for such parents and children, and (G) accessible childhood nutrition programs.

(c) In developing the plan, the council shall consult with experts and providers of services to children living in poverty and parents of such children. The council shall hold at least one public hearing on the plan. After the public hearing, the council may make any modifications that the members deem necessary based on testimony given at the public hearing.

(d) Funds from private and public sources may be accepted and utilized by the council to develop and implement the plan and provisions of this section.

(e) Not later than January 1, 2005, the council shall submit the plan, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and human services and to the select committee having cognizance of matters relating to children, along with any recommendations for legislation and funding necessary to implement the plan.

(f) On or before January 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, until January 1, 2015, the council shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and human services and to the select committee having cognizance of matters relating to children on the implementation of the plan and the extent to which state actions are in conformity with the plan.

(g) For purposes of this section, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, shall be responsible for coordinating all necessary activities, including, but not limited to, scheduling and presiding over meetings and public hearings.

(h) The council shall terminate on June 30, 2015.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2004) The Department of Children and Families shall, within available resources and with the assistance of The University of Connecticut Health Center, (1) establish guidelines for the use and management of psychotropic medications with children and youth in the care of the Department of Children and Families, and (2) establish and maintain a database to track the use of psychotropic medications with children and youth committed to the care of the Department of Children and Families.

Approved on June 8, 2004