During the 2018 legislative session, Connecticut Voices for Children raised a powerful voice at the Capitol, advocating for the research-based policies and best practices that will enable every child in our state to have a meaningful path to opportunity and set our state on a path toward a more inclusive, healthy, and prosperous future.
Thanks to our advocacy and the leadership of many legislators, policymakers, and other advocates, the Connecticut General Assembly took important steps to advance equity and reduce racial disparities:
- HUSKY parent eligibility restoration.
- Expanded oral health access for children.
- Bump stocks ban.
- Essential health benefits regulations.
- Advance notice for placement changes in foster care
- Development of procedures for foster children with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
- New legislation gives OECE greater flexibility to target high-need populations and increase provider rates.
- Prevented a federal funding increases to early childhood education to be offset by state funding cuts.
- New policies to increase recruitment and retention of teachers of color.
- Preserved state education funding.
On fiscal matters, the legislature made necessary changes to some potentially damaging fiscal restrictions by making the volatility cap more flexible and shortening the terms of the Bond Lock. Thanks to unexpectedly strong revenue from income taxes, the General Assembly could increase or restore funding to several key programs serving children and families.
Legislators did little, however, to address the state’s structural budget deficit, choosing short-term fixes that fail to tackle the underlying challenges, rendering many of the session’s policy victories tenuous at best. Looking ahead, our work lies in budget reforms that will afford a stable fiscal foundation and support the strategic investments in education, health, and workforce development necessary to make the state more competitive and equitable.