Statement of the Hispanic Federation on the End of Session for the Connecticut General Assembly

May 18, 2016 (New York, NY) – Hispanic Federation has issued the following statement in response to the end of session for the Connecticut General Assembly.

“Hispanic Federation thanks the Connecticut General Assembly for preserving the Hispanic Human Resources Development funding for nonprofit organizations serving the state’s growing Latino community. We appreciate the strong bipartisan support that exists for the invaluable social services and economic contributions that Latino nonprofits provide every day. As we move past yet another special budget session we remain deeply concerned about Connecticut's fiscal situation and the focus by some of our elected leaders to meet budget gaps by cutting the state's safety net. This strategy of slashing services disproportionately hurts the very people we have a responsibility to care for and help uplift - working families, single mothers, seniors, at-risk children, new Americans - and will ultimately lessen the quality of life of all of Connecticut's residents. We believe it is paramount for the Governor and General Assembly to consider revenue-generating options to meet future budget needs and look forward to working with our elected leadership to identify opportunities to do so that will preserve vital government services including Medicaid, mental health services and other human services that economically lift up vulnerable Connecticut families.

On the legislative front, we commend the General Assembly for passing legislation to “Ban the Box,” which would ensure employers give ex-offenders a fair shot at earning employment and rehabilitating their lives. Hispanic Federation also supports passed legislation creating a Connecticut Retirement Security Program to afford workers without employer-based sponsored retirement plans an opportunity to save for retirement. We also support legislation to delay the termination of the minority teacher recruitment task force within the Department of Education, and requiring the Department of Education to conduct an annual survey of students regarding the effectiveness of minority teacher recruitment programs in the state.

Unfortunately, the General Assembly failed to pass legislation granting financial aid for undocumented children, which would have allowed hundreds of deserving immigrant youth an opportunity to attend and graduate from college. We are also disappointed that this session did not advance reform on how prisoners are counted for state funding and election districts. Additionally, we are concerned by the consolidation of the legislative commissions representing communities of color and women that provide vital policy, research and community insight guiding our state leaders in their decision making.”

For more information on the Hispanic Federation’s legislative and budget advocacy in Connecticut, please contact Ingrid Alvarez.