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Substitute House Bill No. 5254

Public Act No. 06-179

AN ACT CONCERNING STATE INVESTMENT IN PREVENTION AND CHILD POVERTY REDUCTION AND THE MERGER OF THE STATE PREVENTION AND CHILD POVERTY COUNCILS.

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

Section 1. Section 4-67v of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

For the biennial budget for the fiscal years commencing July 1, [2003, and ending June 30, 2005] 2007, and July 1, 2008, the Governor's budget document shall, within available appropriations, include a prevention report [presenting] that corresponds with the prevention goals established in section 4-67x, as amended by this act. The prevention report shall:

(1) Present in detail for each fiscal year of [such] the biennium the Governor's recommendation for appropriations for prevention services classified by those budgeted agencies [involved in the State Prevention Council and showing,] that provide prevention services to children, youth and families;

(2) Indicate the state's progress toward meeting the goal that, by the year 2020, at least ten per cent of total recommended appropriations for each such budgeted agency be allocated for prevention services; and

(3) Include, for each applicable budgeted agency and [its subdivisions,] any division, bureau or other unit of the agency, (A) a list of agency programs that provide prevention services, (B) the actual prevention services expenditures for the fiscal year [ending June 30, 2003] preceding the biennium, by program, (C) the estimated prevention services expenditures for the first fiscal year [commencing July 1, 2003, and] of the biennium, (D) an identification of research-based prevention services programs, [. The Governor's budget shall also include] and (E) a summary of all prevention services by each applicable budgeted agency [,] identifying the total for prevention services included in the budget.

Sec. 2. Section 4-67s of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

As used in sections 4-67s to [4-67v] 4-67x, inclusive, as amended by this act:

(1) "Prevention" means policies and programs that promote healthy, safe and productive lives and reduce the likelihood of crime, violence, substance abuse, illness, academic failure and other socially destructive behaviors.

(2) "Research-based prevention" means those prevention programs as defined in this section that have been rigorously evaluated and are found to be effective or represent best practices.

Sec. 3. Section 4-67x of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

(a) (1) There shall be a Child Poverty and Prevention 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 Chief Court Administrator, 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 directors of the Commission on Children and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, shall be the chairperson of the council. The council shall (1) develop and promote the implementation of a ten-year plan, to begin June 8, 2004, to reduce the number of children living in poverty in the state by fifty per cent, and (2) within available appropriations, establish prevention goals and recommendations and measure prevention service outcomes in accordance with this section in order to promote the health and well-being of children and families.

(b) The ten-year 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 ten-year 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 the provisions of this section.

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

(f) (1) On or before January 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, until January 1, 2015, the council shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and human services and to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children on the implementation of the plan, progress made toward meeting the child poverty reduction goal specified in subsection (a) of this section and the extent to which state actions are in conformity with the plan. The council shall meet at least two times annually [to review and coordinate state agency efforts to meet the child poverty reduction goal specified in subsection (a) of this section] for the purposes set forth in this section.

(2) On or before January 1, 2007, the council shall, within available appropriations, report, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations, education, human services and public health and to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children, on the state's progress in prioritizing expenditures in budgeted state agencies with membership on the council in order to fund prevention services. The report shall include (A) a summary of measurable gains made toward the child poverty and prevention goals established in this section; (B) a copy of each such agency's report on prevention services submitted to the council pursuant to this subsection (g) of this section; (C) examples of successful interagency collaborations to meet the child poverty and prevention goals established in this section; and (D) recommendations for prevention investment and budget priorities. In developing such recommendations, the council shall consult with experts and providers of services to children and families.

(g) (1) On or before November 1, 2006, and on or before November 1, 2007, each budgeted state agency with membership on the council that provides prevention services to children shall, within available appropriations, report to the council in accordance with this subsection.

(2) Each agency report shall include at least two prevention services for the report due on or before November 1, 2006, and the report due on or before November 1, 2007, not to exceed the actual number of prevention services provided by the agency. For each prevention service reported by the agency, the agency report shall include (A) a statement of the number of children and families served, (B) a description of the preventive purposes of the service, (C) for the report due on or before November 1, 2007, a description of performance-based standards and outcomes included in relevant contracts pursuant to subsection (h) of this section, and (D) any performance-based vendor accountability protocols.

(3) Each agency report shall also include (A) long-term agency goals, strategies and outcomes to promote the health and well-being of children and families, (B) overall findings on the effectiveness of prevention within such agency, (C) a statement of whether there are methods used by such agency to reduce disparities in child performance and outcomes by race, income level and gender, and a description of such methods, if any, and (D) other information the agency head deems relevant to demonstrate the preventive value of services provided by the agency. Long-term agency goals, strategies and outcomes reported under this subdivision may include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(i) With respect to health goals, increasing (I) the number of healthy pregnant women and newborns, (II) the number of youths who adopt healthy behaviors, and (III) access to health care for children and families;

(ii) With respect to education goals, increasing the number of children who (I) are ready for school at an appropriate age, (II) learn to read by third grade, (III) succeed in school, (IV) graduate from high school, and (V) successfully obtain and maintain employment as adults;

(iii) With respect to safety goals, decreasing (I) the rate of child neglect and abuse, (II) the number of children who are unsupervised after school, (III) the incidence of child and youth suicide, and (IV) the incidence of juvenile crime; and

(iv) With respect to housing goals, increasing access to stable and adequate housing.

[(g)] (h) Not later than July 1, 2006, the Office of Policy and Management shall, within available appropriations, develop a protocol requiring state contracts for programs aimed at reducing poverty for children and families to include performance-based standards and outcome measures related to the child poverty reduction goal specified in subsection (a) of this section. Not later than July 1, 2007, the Office of Policy and Management shall, within available appropriations, require such state contracts to include such performance-based standards and outcomes. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management may consult with the Commission on Children to identify academic, private and other available funding sources and may accept and utilize funds from private and public sources to implement the provisions of this section.

[(h)] (i) 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.

[(i)] (j) The council shall terminate on June 30, 2015.

Sec. 4. Section 17b-16 of the 2006 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2006):

The Labor Department, in cooperation with the Department of Social Services, shall provide information and assistance in obtaining, within available appropriations, the federal earned income credit established pursuant to 26 USC 32, to each applicant for or recipient of assistance from the department. The Labor Department, in cooperation with the Department of Revenue Services, shall promote the earned income credit program to recipients of benefits pursuant to section 17b-112. The Department of Social Services, in consultation with the Child Poverty and Prevention Council established in section 4-67x, as amended by this act, shall, within available appropriations, promote greater utilization of the federal earned income credit to municipalities, public and private employers, community-based organizations and other entities that have frequent contact with low-income families and shall enhance financial literacy and self-sufficiency programs. School and business partnership funds, private funds and other available funds may be used for purposes of this section.

Sec. 5. Sections 4-67t, 4-67u and 4-67w of the general statutes are repealed. (Effective October 1, 2006)

Approved June 9, 2006