Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5133

Special Act No. 08-3


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

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than July 1, 2008, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, within available appropriations and in consultation with the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, shall convene a Youth Policy Council to continue the work of the former Youth Futures Committee, established by public act 06-182, and review and promote the recommendations in the report of said Youth Futures Committee. The overall mission of the Youth Policy Council shall be to support positive youth development for all Connecticut youth between the ages of twelve and twenty-one, and to assist such youth in entering the state's workforce.

(b) The Youth Policy Council shall consist of the following: (1) Six members of the General Assembly, one each appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, and the minority leader of the Senate; (2) the Governor or the Governor's designee; (3) the Commissioners of Education, Higher Education, Children and Families, Public Health, Social Services, and Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Labor Commissioner or said commissioners' designees; (4) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the secretary's designee; (5) the director of the Office of Workforce Competitiveness or the director's designee; (6) the executive director of the Commission on Children or the executive director's designee; (7) the executive director of the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch or the executive director's designee; and (8) a representative from the Connecticut Youth Services Association designated by the president of the association. The director of the Office of Workforce Competitiveness or the director's designee shall be the chairperson of the council. All appointments to the council shall be made no later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(c) The Youth Policy Council shall: (1) (A) Receive information from other entities involved in services for children and youth, including, but not limited to, the Youth Vision Team, the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission Youth Committee, the Early Childhood Education Cabinet, the Governor's Early Childhood Research and Policy Council, the Child Poverty and Prevention Council and the Commission on Children; and (B) share information with other entities serving youth to improve communication and collaboration to better meet the needs of youth; (2) improve coordination, through the results-based accountability process, with other state-wide entities that focus on youth services; (3) conduct policy-relevant research and analysis through partnerships and subcontracts; (4) collect, organize, analyze and publish data, with contracted help on database issues and other data-related work; (5) develop guidelines for the delivery of youth services based on appropriate outcomes consistent with positive youth development; (6) make policy recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor; (7) work with appropriate state agencies and local service providers at the community level, beginning with one or more pilot projects in selected regions, to develop community-based strategic plans for the delivery of community-level services that advance positive youth development. Such plans shall include an assessment of the existing levels of: (A) Funding resources; (B) youth service delivery capacity; and (C) local planning and implementation capacity; (8) recommend changes to existing state policies and procedures to facilitate local implementation of pilot programs aimed at the council's target population pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, and to establish a framework for such implementation with clear guidelines that are flexible but have specific objectives; (9) leverage financial support and coinvestment for planning and piloting local efforts; (10) (A) issue reports on participation and outcomes for such target population, (B) build capacity for public reporting and analysis, and (C) measure progress toward attainment of positive youth outcomes; and (11) facilitate systems development across state and local entities, including memoranda of agreement, joint requests for proposals, common core data sets, case management agreements across agencies and blended funding demonstrations.

(d) For purposes of this section, positive youth outcomes include, but are not limited to, (1) improved school attendance; (2) improved academic and technical proficiencies; (3) improvement in the percentage of youth obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent; (4) increases in the percentage of youth who enroll in and complete postsecondary school educational and training programs; (5) enrollment in employment programs that build skills; (6) full employment for youth not enrolled in educational programs; (7) opportunities to be engaged in public service; (8) stable and safe housing; (9) access to quality mental and physical health providers; and (10) opportunities to develop leadership and mentoring skills.

(e) On or before January 1, 2010, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the Governor and the General Assembly on (1) the progress made in achieving positive outcomes for youth and the total state expenditures dedicated to achieving such positive outcomes, and (2) policy recommendations and future funding needs. The Youth Policy Council shall terminate on the date that the Office of Workforce Competitiveness submits such report or January 1, 2010, whichever is later.

Sec. 2. (Effective July 1, 2008) (a) The Youth Policy Council established pursuant to section 1 of this act shall, within available appropriations and funds received pursuant to subsection (b) of this section: (1) Coordinate the mapping and analysis of resources and youth services as pilot programs in one or more local communities; (2) collect data on the services available to youth served by selected local providers and related state agencies, and improve collaboration and accountability among such providers and agencies, including collaboration on contracting for services and a focus on data and outcomes compatible with the results-based accountability principles; (3) coordinate local data collection with the council's data collection and management efforts; (4) focus pilot programs on the facilitation of public-private partnerships between state agencies and local service providers using blended funding and collaboration among state agencies, local service providers and local workforce investment boards; and (5) use pilot programs to test ideas through implementation, address problems and replicate programs more broadly as program operation proves successful and linkages are formed and strengthened at the local level. Collaboration at the local community level may include community colleges, youth service bureaus and philanthropic organizations, as well as local service providers and state agencies. For purposes of this subsection, collaboration includes memoranda of agreement to develop shared or common requests for proposals and common core data sets that can lead to achievement of outcomes compatible with results-based accountability principles.

(b) The Office of Workforce Competitiveness may solicit and receive funds from philanthropic organizations. The council shall use such funds for purposes of this section and section 1 of this act.

Approved May 27, 2008