Connecticut Commission on Children: An Agency of the Connecticut General Assembly
The Connecticut Commission on Children
dancing kids logo General Assembly logo 18-20 Trinity Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1591

Phone: (860) 240-0290  | Fax: (860) 240-0248 | E-mail

The Speaker's Task Force on Children in the Recession

group of kids

On June 16, 2009 House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan announced the formation of a legislative task force to find ways of meeting the needs of Connecticut's youngest and most vulnerable citizens in this economic crisis. In May 2009, Connecticut lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the chief product of the task force: House Bill 5360, An Act Concerning Children in the Recession. You'll find more on the bill and the task force below.

January 31, 2014

The WorkPath Fund: Opening Roads to Employment for Conn. Families

A public-private partnership led by the Commission on Children, the Liberty Bank Foundation, the Workforce Alliance, and the five Connecticut Workforce Investment Boards held a news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on January 31, 2014 to announce the launch of the WorkPath Fund, an initiative aimed at helping Connecticut parents succeed in a still-difficult job market. Read more

September 15, 2011

'Losing Three Decades of Progress: Federal Budget Cuts and Children'

Bruce Lesley of Washington, D.C.-based First Focus discussed the possible impact of the recently negotiated federal budget cuts at the September 15 meeting of House Speaker Christopher Donovan's Task Force on Children in the Recession. Watch video, download documents, and more

May 2, 2011

Speaker's Task Force on Children in the Recession hears about '99ers'

Last year, the work of the task force led to legislation for protecting Connecticut's most vulnerable families. On May 2, the panel reconvened to get status reports on the legislation and to gather information on the latest crisis for families devastated by the recession: the looming expiration of their unemployment benefits. Video, documents, and more

July 14, 2010

Gov. Rell signs An Act Concerning Children in the Recession

With members of the Speaker's Task Force on Children in the Recession looking on, Governor M. Jodi Rell today signed the bill containing the task force's recommendations, An Act Concerning Children in the Recession. A brief video of the signing ceremony, held in the governor's office, is below.

May 5, 2010

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approve House Bill 5360, An Act Concerning Children in the Recession

The legislation, based on the findings of the Speaker's Task Force, cleared the House of Representatives 137-7 on April 27 and unanimously in the Senate on May 5. If Governor M. Jodi Rell signs it, Connecticut will become the first state in the nation to take a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of children harmed by the recession.
Text of the bill and its legislative history | Summary of the bill

April 30, 2010

Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, comes to Hartford to celebrate the work of the Task Force

Ms. Edelman, whose work as a child advocate and civil-rights leader has won her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and many other honors, came to the state Capitol to speak on "Children in the Economic Downturn" and to praise the nation-leading work of the Task Force.
News release and Wright biography (PDF)

April 9, 2010

Task Force holds public hearing in Ledyard, seventh in four months

The hearing, held at the offices of the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, follows hearings in Torrington, Bridgeport, Hamden, Killingly, Enfield, and Hartford. At each hearing, the Task Force heard from parents and young people whose lives have been turned upside down, from the Waterbury mother working three jobs because of her husband's job loss to the Glastonbury teen-ager who tearfully told of having to put her college dreams on hold because both parents had been laid off. Video, documents, and news coverage of the hearings

January 21, 2010

Task Force submits interim findings and recommendations

The Task Force unanimously approved an interim report for House Speaker Christopher Donovan that includes findings and recommendations in the following areas: hunger and nutrition, housing and homelessness, employment, early care and education, higher education, family health care, family and community violence, teens and after-school programs, and coordination and system. Read the report (13 pages, PDF) | CT-N video of the Jan. 21 Task Force meeting

December 5, 2009

Task Force holds its first public hearing; more to come across the state

Video, documents, and news coverage from the hearing

November 19, 2009

Employment, higher education, youth programs, and other topics discussed at Task Force meeting

At its third meeting, the Speaker's Task Force on Children in the Recession took testimony from state and national experts on the following topics: "The State of Working Connecticut," "Unemployment and Welfare in a Recession," "The American Dream and Hopes for College," and "Youth: Gaps and Opportunities." Video and documents from the November 19 meeting

October 28, 2009

'Narrowing the Lens from the Nation to Connecticut'

After getting a national context at its inaugural meeting on September 29, the Task Force devoted its second meeting to hearing from experts on what the recession is doing to Connecticut children. Speakers included officials of End Hunger Connecticut!, Foodshare, the Partnership for Strong Communities, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, the state Child Advocate's office, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the state Department of Public Health. Video and documents from the October 28 meeting

October 12, 2009

Jarmoc writes on children and the recession in HBJ

The Hartford Business Journal has published an op-ed article by Representative Karen Jarmoc of Enfield on the recession's effects on Connecticut children and on the Children in the Recession Task Force, which she co-chairs. "We cannot turn back the realities thrust upon so many Connecticut families by the collapse of our economy," she writes. "What we can do is take action and work to turn the tide to decrease the number of children and families who fall into a lifetime of poverty." Read the article on the HBJ website or download a PDF copy

September 29, 2009

Task Force gets under way

At its first meeting, held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, the Task Force heard some startling data  from two national experts: Ralph Forsht, senior vice-president of First Focus in Washington, D.C., and Fasaha Traylor, senior program officer for the Foundation for Child Development in New York. Meeting video and documents

Members named to the Children in the Recession Task Force

The panel is co-chaired by state Representatives Karen Jarmoc of Enfield and Diana S. Urban of North Stonington. In addition to lawmakers of both parties, the membership includes representatives from business, philanthropy, the various nonprofit agencies that assist children and families, researchers, and parent advocates along with the staffs of Connecticut's congressional delegation. View the roster

July 9, 2009

Keep up on the latest news concerning 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 the Commission on Children, acting in conjunction with the task force, 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.

June 16, 2009

Children in the Recession Task Force launched

Connecticut Speaker of the House of Representatives Chris Donovan announced the formation of a legislative task force that will help plan Connecticut's response to the economic crisis for its youngest citizens. "There is no greater risk to Connecticut's future than the adverse effects of this recession on our children," Donovan said. Read more here


Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Flickr Follow us on YouTube Follow our RSS feed
CT-N logo ConneCTkids