August 2009

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In this issue:
For children, the recession's effects will linger COC on the Cutting Edge
Check out our new blog: Children in the Recession Commission on Children in the news
Children's legislation signed into law About the Commission
SNAP E&T update
For children, this recession's effects will linger
The economic downturn will affect children, families, and the economy for decades to come. First Focus, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, D.C., has provided the Commission on Children with these estimates:

—An additional 35,000 Connecticut children will fall into poverty during this recession.

—As adults, they will have less earning power than their peers, by an average of about $19,000 per year.

—They will be 20 percent less likely to report being in good health

—Together, these lost earnings and poorer health will cost the Connecticut economy $800 million per year.

Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives Christopher Donovan announced on June 16 the formation of a legislative task force – co-chaired by Reps. Karen Jarmoc and Diana Urban, with support from the Connecticut Commission on Children – that will help plan Connecticut’s response to this crisis. This makes Connecticut the first state to explicitly plan for children in the recession and recovery. More here

The work of the task force is critical as Connecticut faces staggering economic losses as a result of child poverty from this recession. Children who fall into poverty during a recession fare far worse than those who stay out of poverty despite the downturn.

Check out our new blog: Children in the Recession

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert put it best: "With so much attention focused on the banking system and arguments over bailouts, the plight of America’s children in this severe economic downturn is getting short shrift." That's why we've started a blog, called Connecticut Children in the Recession, at There, you'll find links to news articles and other information on how children are faring in this crisis. Check back often -- we're updating daily. (There's also a link on our home page.)

Children's legislation signed into law
The General Assembly passed an assortment of bills concerning children this year, and this summer Governor M. Jodi Rell has signed many of them into law, including measures aimed reducing the number of absent fathers, using "green" cleaning products in schools, improving bicycle and pedestrian access, and requiring health insurance coverage for autism-spectrum disorders. Read all about them here. (PDF)

SNAP E&T update
The state Department of Social Services (DSS) has extended the deadline for responding to its request for proposals (RFP) to participate in SNAP E&T, which provides municipalities, community colleges, and other eligible organizations a 50-cent federal match for every dollar they spend on services that help food stamp recipients find regular employment. The new deadline is September 30.
Read about the Commission's June 8 briefing on SNAP E&T

COC on the Cutting Edge Updated!

For each dollar invested in it, the Commission on Children brings in more than three dollars from federal funds, foundations, and private sources. That's just one of the Commission accomplishments outlined in this document, updated with new data. Read it here (PDF)

Commission on Children in the news
Note: Most newspapers make their online articles available for only a short period before charging access fees.

  • The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) site in Bridgeport was profiled in the August 16 edition of the Connecticut Post. More than 200 parents have graduated from Bridgeport PLTI since its launch in 1998, the article noted.
  • Commission Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman was quoted in an op-ed article that appeared in the July 4 edition of the Connecticut Post. The article, by Gary Stanek, praised the legislature for the adoption of Public Act 09-175, An Act Concerning Responsible Fatherhood and Strong Families.
    Request a copy of the article
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Topics:  About Us | Policy & Legislation | Health & Safety | Education | After School | Parent Engagement

About the Commission
Created in 1985 by the Connecticut General Assembly, the 25-member Commission on Children brings together the three branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial--as well as the private sector to promote public policies in the best interests of children. More

The Connecticut Commission on Children
18-20 Trinity Street
Hartford, CT  06106-1591
Phone: (860) 240-0290  
Fax: (860) 240-0248

Commission members: M. Alex Geertsma, M.D., F.A.A.P., Chair; George A. Coleman, Vice Chair; Mary Grace Reed, Secretary; James P. Cordier, Treasurer; Laura Lee Simon, Chair Emerita; Judith Busch; Representative Andrew M. Fleischmann; Mary K. Fox; Senator Jonathan Harris; Alison Hilding; Senator Andrew J. McDonald; Josh Piteo; Barbara J. Ruhe; Representative Toni Walker; John Yrchik. Ex-officio members: commissioners of children and families, developmental services, public health, education, social services, and correction; the secretary of policy and management; the attorney general; and the chief court administrator. More information

Commission staff:
Elaine Zimmerman, executive director; Thomas R. Brooks, director of policy and research analysis; Dawn Homer-Bouthiette, Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) director; Kevin Flood, public information officer and webmaster; Mary Kate Lowndes, director of development; Rachel Levy, executive secretary; Edie Luciano, legislative secretary. Contact information

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Newsletter editor: Kevin Flood

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