OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING A PILOT PROGRAM FOSTERING NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY AND CREATING A SET-ASIDE PROGRAM FOR PARTICIPANTS IN THE PILOT PROGRAM, AND AUTHORIZING BONDING FOR RELATED PROJECTS.
This bill establishes a pilot program to foster neighborhood safety in urban environments. The program is designed to provide services and programs (e.g., anger management and nonviolent dispute resolution training) to the people most likely to be victims or perpetrators of gun violence. The pilot also creates a fellowship program for young people who are likely to be such perpetrators or victims to develop leadership opportunities for personal, social, educational, and vocational growth. To qualify for the pilot program, a municipality must have a population between 124,000 and 125,000.
The bill allows the city of Hartford, when awarding a municipal public works contract associated with certain projects to inquire whether the bidder contributes to the pilot program. It also requires a contractor awarded such a contract to set aside an amount for subcontractors that contribute to the pilot program, provide certain training for the fellowship program, and hire a certain percentage of people from the fellowship program.
The bill also authorizes two separate general obligation bonds of up to $500,000 each. The Department of Economic and Community Development must use the proceeds for Hartford city projects associated with the (1) Minority Contractors' Urban Home Initiative and (2) Connecticut Equestrian and Exhibition Center, for the Ebony Horsewomen, Inc. The bonds are subject to standard statutory bond issuance procedures and repayment requirements.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY PILOT PROGRAM
Under the bill, the pilot program must serve as a blueprint for a statewide reduction of neighborhood violence. The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary must select a municipality with between 124,000 and 125,000 people to participate in the pilot program.
The program must (1) serve people who are most likely to be victims or perpetrators of gun violence and (2) be funded by state, federal, or private money.
The pilot program must provide and coordinate services, initiatives, and programs through development and implementation, community capacity building, and service coordination. Specifically, it must include:
1. school-based initiatives to connect students and their families with culturally competent social and economic service opportunities;
2. outreach to people most likely to be victims or perpetrators of gun violence and intervention programs designed to assist such people;
3. life skills training to foster resilience to risk factors associated with gun violence, including anger management and nonviolent dispute resolution;
4. a fellowship program, with a possible stipend, for young people identified by local or regional boards of education (see below) or the municipality's police department or community leaders as most likely to be victims or perpetrators of gun violence that will provide support and developmental and leadership opportunities, including opportunities for personal, social, educational, and vocational growth;
5. a program for people participating in the fellowship program to mentor other young people who may be likely to be victims or perpetrators of gun violence;
6. coordination between the municipality and state agencies to maximize resources; and
7. partnerships between state and national philanthropic organizations to enable statewide replication and implementation of the program.
Identification of At-risk Children
The bill requires the local or regional board of education for the municipality participating in the pilot program to develop a system to identify children who are at risk of being perpetrators or victims of violence, based on the following three metrics: chronic absenteeism; behavioral information, primarily based on suspension and expulsion data; and academic issues, with primary emphasis on reading and math deficiencies.
The board of education must provide notice of the pilot program to the parent or guardian of any child (1) identified by the metrics as at risk or (2) reentering the school district after being placed or put on probation through juvenile justice system. The notice must request permission for the child to participate in the program. The request must conform with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the 1974 Privacy Act (FERPA) and its regulations.
If the parent or guardian grants permission, the child's name must be forwarded to the program's administrators for inclusion in the program. The administrators must maintain the child's information in a secure manner.
The bill requires the OPM secretary and the municipality where the program is located to jointly submit a report by January 1, 2018 to the Judiciary and Appropriations committees. The report must include:
1. the number of program participants;
2. the change in the level of gun-related violent incidents in the municipality;
3. an evaluation of the program's services, initiatives, and programs;
4. the program's cost, separated by state and private dollars; and
5. any recommendations to expand the program to other municipalities.
Following the first report, the municipality and OPM must annually submit the report by January 1 if the municipality received state funding for the previous year.
The bill allows Hartford, when awarding a municipal public works contract (see BACKGROUND) associated with the (1) Minority Contractors' Urban Home Initiative; (2) Connecticut Equestrian and Exhibition Center, for the Ebony Horsewomen, Inc.; or (3) Upper Albany Main Street project, to inquire whether the bidder is a business that contributes to the pilot program and provides vocational training to young people participating in the fellowship program.
The bill also specifies that the notice of solicitation for competitive bids or request for proposals or qualifications must state that the general or trade contractor must comply with relevant state nondiscrimination and affirmative action laws for contracts and existing law's set-aside program for small contractors and minority business enterprises.
By law, the set-aside program requires contractors awarded municipal public works contracts to set aside 25% of the total value of the state's financial assistance for the contract for award to small contractors. The contractor must further reserve 25% of the set-aside value (6.25% of the total) for exclusive bidding by certified minority business enterprises (see BACKGROUND).
The bill requires contractors who enter into a contract with Hartford that is associated with one of the above-named projects to reserve an additional 10% of the set-aside value (2.5% of the total) for subcontractors who are business enterprises that (1) contribute to the pilot program, (2) provide vocational training to young people in the fellowship program under the pilot program, and (3) hire at least 10% of such young people to work on the subcontract.
Municipal Public Works Contracts, Certified Small Contractor, and Minority Business Enterprise
A “municipal public works contract” is the portion of an agreement, financed in whole or in part by the state, entered into on or after October 1, 2015 between a municipality and an individual, firm, or corporation to construct, rehabilitate, convert, extend, demolish, or repair a public building or highway, or make other changes or improvements in real property. Contractors awarded municipal public work contracts must comply with the set-aside program if the (1) contract involves financial assistance and (2) total contract exceeds $50,000.
By law, a “certified small contractor” is a business that (1) maintains its principal place of business in Connecticut, (2) had gross revenues of $15 million or less during its most recent fiscal year, and (3) is independent.
“Minority business entities” are small contractors owned by women, minorities, or people with disabilities (CGS § 4a-60g).
Joint Favorable Substitute