2006 LEGISLATIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE PRIORITIES


OVERVIEW

The Commission will continue its legislative efforts in the current legislative session, building on the successes of recent years. This year as in others, the Commission will address legislation in the following areas: education investment, affordable housing, environmental justice, civil rights, healthcare education, equity in the criminal justice system, and minority business growth. The following presents a highlight of issues the Commission plans to address in the 2006 session.

Below each section or subject matter is accompanying contact information for the various Committees where bills are likely to be introduced or referred. Chairpersons of the respective Committees are also listed. If you are interested in advocating on any of these issues please feel free to contact the African-American Affairs Commission for further direction. Please submit your e-mail address to aac@cga.ct.gov so that we may notify you of upcoming public hearings and pertinent activities such as deadlines for submitting testimony.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

• Eliminate disparities in mandatory minimum sentencing laws – Support legislation to eliminate mandatory minimum sentence laws that unfairly target minorities. (e.g. prohibits the sale of drugs in, at, or within 1,500 feet of school, public housing, or daycare center.)

• Selection of Judges and Prosecutors – Address the need to increase minority representation in the selection of judges and prosecutors in Connecticut’s courts.

• Juvenile Justice – Support legislation to reduce disproportionate minority representation in the juvenile justice system.

• Alternative Incarceration Programs – Support funding for prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse offenders and the mentally ill, in lieu of incarceration.

• Discharge Planning for Ex-Offenders – Support continued funding of post incarceration initiatives for ex-offenders as outlined in the Building Bridges
Initiative.

Chairpersons - Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Michael Lawlor
Joint Committee on Judiciary
Room 2500, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0530




HEALTH AND INSURANCE

• Husky Health Plan

    o Support restoration of Husky parents’ eligibility to the original 185 percent of the federal poverty level

• State Administered General Assistance

    o Support the restoration of non-emergency medical transportation services.

    o Support the restoration of vision care, home healthcare, physical therapy, occupational therapy and podiatry as covered services.

• Sickle-Cell Center – Provide funding for an adult sickle-cell center equipped with the latest technology that delivers comprehensive care to patients.

Chairpersons - Senator Christopher Murphy and Representative Peggy Sayers

Public Health Committee
Room 3000, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0560


Chairpersons – Senator Edward Meyer and Representative Michael Cardin

Select Committee on Children
Room 011, Capitol Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0370


 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

• Predatory Lending – Support legislative and educational efforts aimed at strengthening state laws to protect Connecticut’s low-income residents from continued abusive lending practices.

• Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s) – Support funding of individual development accounts.

• Earned Income Tax Credit – Support the creation of a state income tax credit program.


Chairpersons – Senator Gary LeBeau and Representative Jeff Berger

Commerce Committee
Room 110, Capitol Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0380


Chairpersons – Senator Bill Finch and Representative Paul Doyle

Banks Committee
Room 2400, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0410


Chairpersons – Senator Eric Coleman and Representative Lewis Wallace

Planning and Development Committee
Room 2100, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0550



 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

• Welfare to Work – Support initiatives under the Connecticut’s Job First Program aimed at achieving the following:

    o Increased funding for GED preparation and advanced educational opportunities for welfare recipients in job training programs.

    o Increased funding for Child Care Subsidy programs

Chairpersons – Senator Mary Ann Handley and Representative Peter Villano

Human Services Committee
Room 2200, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0490


 

HOUSING

• Affordable Housing Development – Support increased funding for the preservation and rehabilitation of the State’s public housing units.

• Supportive Housing – Support funding of the Beyond Shelter Program and increased funding for other supportive housing initiatives.

Chairpersons – Senator Bob Duff and Representative Kenneth Green

Select Committee on Housing
Room 011, Capitol Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0340


 

EDUCATION

• Educational Cost Sharing – Support legislative efforts to modify the educational cost sharing formula to achieve equity in public school funding.

• Minority Teacher Recruitment – Support legislative efforts to increase the level of minority teachers within the public school system.

• Special Education – Address the overrepresentation of minorities in Special Education Programs

Chairpersons – Senator Thomas Gaffey and Representative Andrew Fleischmann

Education Committee
Room 3100, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0420


Chairpersons – Senator Edward Meyer and Representative Michael Cardin

Select Committee on Children
Room 011, Capitol Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0370


 

CIVIL RIGHTS

• Election Day Registration (EDR) – Support Election Day Registration initiative aimed at increasing voter turn out for disenfranchised groups

Chairpersons - Senator Donald DeFronzo and Representative Christopher Caruso

Government Administrations and Elections Committee
Room 2200, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0480



 

TRANSPORTATION

• Access to Jobs – Support state transportation policies recommended in report issued by Connecticut Transportation Strategy Board aimed at expanding mass transit options, specifically bus service for urban residents.


Chairpersons – Senator Biagio Ciotto and Representative Anthony Guerrera

Transportation Committee
Room 2300, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0590

Chairpersons - Senator Eric Coleman and Representative Lewis Wallace

Planning and Development Committee
Room 2100, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0550






ENVIRONMENT

• Environmental Justice – Support legislation that addresses environmental justice issues.

Chairpersons - Senator Andrea Stillman and Representative Richard Roy

Environment Committee
Room 3200, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0440



 



Please be mindful that it is possible that the aforementioned legislation could be referred to the Appropriations Committee for funding determination. As such please contact the address listed below.

Appropriations Committee
Chairpersons – Sen. Harp & Rep. Merrill


Room 2700, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0390

 

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