CHAPTER 814d

COMMISSION ON CHILDREN

Table of Contents

Sec. 46a-126. Commission on Children. Membership. Vacancies. Executive director. Staff and personnel matters.

Sec. 46a-127. Appointment and terms of members. Expenses.

Sec. 46a-128. Review of statutes. Report of findings and recommendations.

Sec. 46a-129. Duties generally. Annual report. Staff. Recommendations and advocacy.

Sec. 46a-130. Authority generally.

Sec. 46a-131. Information and assistance from state agencies. Acceptance of gifts.

Sec. 46a-131a. Annual social health index report.

Sec. 46a-131b. Youth leadership opportunities.

Secs. 46a-132 to 46a-149. Reserved


Sec. 46a-126. Commission on Children. Membership. Vacancies. Executive director. Staff and personnel matters. (a) There is established a Commission on Children consisting of twenty-one voting members. There shall be nine nonvoting ex-officio members of the commission as follows: The Commissioners of Children and Families, Developmental Services, Public Health, Education, Social Services and Correction, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the Attorney General and the Chief Court Administrator.

(1) With respect to members appointed prior to October 5, 2009, upon the occurrence of a vacancy or the expiration of the term of a member, whichever occurs first, such vacancy shall be filled as follows: (A) For any member appointed jointly by the majority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, such vacancy shall be filled by a joint appointment of the majority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate; (B) for any member appointed by the Governor, such vacancy shall be filled by a joint appointment of the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives; (C) for any member appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, such vacancy shall be filled by an appointment of the president pro tempore of the Senate; (D) for any member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, such vacancy shall be filled by an appointment of the speaker of the House of Representatives; (E) for any member appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, such vacancy shall be filled by an appointment of the minority leader of the Senate; and (F) for any member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, such vacancy shall be filled by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(2) On or after October 5, 2009, (A) the majority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall jointly appoint one additional member to the commission who shall be from the central region of the state; (B) the president pro tempore of the Senate shall appoint one additional member to the commission from the northeastern region of the state; (C) the speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint one additional member to the commission from the southeastern region of the state; (D) the minority leader of the Senate shall appoint one additional member to the commission from the northwestern region of the state; and (E) the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint one additional member to the commission from the southwestern region of the state. In the event of a vacancy for any member appointed pursuant to this subdivision, such vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority and such appointed member shall be from the respective region of the state.

(3) Any member appointed on or after October 5, 2009, shall have experience in the field of issues affecting children by virtue of such person’s status as an advocate or an academic, civic or cultural leader.

(4) Any member appointed pursuant to this subsection shall serve for a term of two years from July first in the year of his or her appointment, except that the term of any member appointed pursuant to this subsection during the period from January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2010, inclusive, shall begin on the date of appointment and shall expire on June 30, 2012. The commission shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from among its members who shall each serve in such capacity for a period of two years. Any person absent from (A) three consecutive meetings of the commission, or (B) fifty per cent of such meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from the commission, effective immediately.

(5) Vacancies on the commission shall be filled by the appointing authority. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall, within the limits of available funds, be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties. The commission shall meet as often as deemed necessary by the chairperson or a majority of the commission.

(b) There shall be an executive director of the Commission on Children. The executive director and any necessary staff shall be employed by the Joint Committee on Legislative Management. The commission shall have no authority over staffing or personnel matters.

(c) The commission shall be part of the Legislative Department.

(P.A. 85-584, S. 1, 9; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-262, S. 67, 87; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-268, S. 4, 34; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(b); Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 150; P.A. 10-1, S. 7; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-2, S. 79.)

History: P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-262 replaced reference to commissioners of income maintenance and human resources with commissioner of social services, reducing the number of nonvoting ex-officio members from ten to nine to reflect the change, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-268 replaced Commission on Children and Youth with Commission on Children, effective July 1, 1996; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 “Commissioner of Mental Retardation” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Developmental Services”, effective October 1, 2007; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to eliminate reference to initial appointees of commission, increase number of members of commission after October 5, 2009, from 16 to 21 voting members, make technical changes and add Subdiv. (1) re the filling of vacancies on commission after expiration of terms of members appointed prior to October 5, 2009, Subdiv. (2) re appointment of 5 additional members after October 5, 2009, Subdiv. (3) re requisite experience for members appointed on or after October 5, 2009, Subdiv. (4) re term for members, selection of chairperson and vice-chairperson, and absence of members from 3 consecutive meetings of commission or 50% of such meetings during any calendar year, and Subdiv. (5) re vacancies on commission, compensation and frequency of meetings of commission, added Subsec. (b) re executive director of commission, any necessary staff and commission’s lack of authority over staffing or personnel matters, and added Subsec. (c) re commission as part of Legislative Department, effective October 5, 2009; P.A. 10-1 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes in Subdivs. (1) and (2) and to add exception to 2-year term of members for appointments made January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2010, in Subdiv. (4) effective February 4, 2010; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-2 deleted “Standing” re Joint Committee on Legislative Management.

Sec. 46a-127. Appointment and terms of members. Expenses. Section 46a-127 is repealed, effective October 5, 2009.

(P.A. 85-584, S. 2, 9; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 190.)

Sec. 46a-128. Review of statutes. Report of findings and recommendations. The commission shall review the general statutes with regard to matters involving children and shall on or before February 1, 1986, and annually thereafter on or before September first, make a report of its findings with regard to any matter before it with specific recommendations for legislation to the Governor and the General Assembly.

(P.A. 85-584, S. 3, 9.)

Sec. 46a-129. Duties generally. Annual report. Staff. Recommendations and advocacy. (a) The commission shall:

(1) Focus its efforts on the following quality of life desired results for children of the state: (A) That all children of the state are healthy; (B) that all children of the state are safe; (C) that all children of the state achieve educational success; (D) that all children of the state are free from poverty; and (E) that all children of the state are free from discrimination. The commission shall meet regularly to review matters pertaining to the achievement of the desired results described in subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, of this subdivision and, not later than January first, annually, shall submit a status report concerning such desired results to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of appropriations. The commission shall develop (i) appropriate population-level indicators of the state’s progress in achieving such desired results, and (ii) strategies that are intended to improve progress on such indicators through a process that is inclusive of all relevant partners, including, but not limited to, state and local government agencies, the faith community, the business sector, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups and philanthropic organizations;

(2) Make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor for new or enhanced policies, programs and services that will foster progress in achieving the desired results described in subdivision (1) of this subsection;

(3) Review and comment on any proposed state legislation or recommendations that may affect the children of the state and provide copies of any such comments to members of the General Assembly;

(4) Advise the General Assembly and Governor concerning the coordination and administration of state programs that affect the children of the state;

(5) Gather and maintain current information regarding the children of the state that can be used to better understand the status, condition, and contributions of such children. Such information shall be included in the annual report described in subsection (b) of this section and shall be made available to legislators and other interested parties upon request;

(6) Maintain a liaison between the children of the state and government agencies, including the General Assembly; and

(7) Conduct educational and outreach activities intended to raise awareness of critical issues for the children of the state.

(b) Not later than January first, annually, in accordance with section 11-4a, the commission shall submit a report to the General Assembly that: (1) Identifies the quality of life desired results described in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section, (2) displays current trend data for the indicators related to each such desired result area, (3) identifies barriers to progress on such indicators, (4) identifies strategies developed pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section, and (5) describes performance measures for the commission, including measures of research, education and outreach, and partnership development.

(c) In carrying out its responsibility to make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor on the need for legislation, policies, programs or services to improve the quality of life for the children of the state, the commission shall have the assistance of staff, as described in subsection (b) of section 46a-126. Any such recommendations shall be provided solely with the approval of a majority of the members of the commission. A majority of the members of the commission shall be required to approve any specific advocacy before the General Assembly or any state agency.

(P.A. 85-584, S. 4, 9; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 151.)

History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to delete former duties of commission and add Subdiv. (1) re focusing on quality of life results, meeting regularly concerning achievement of the desired results, submitting annual status report concerning desired results, developing appropriate population-level indicators of state’s progress in achieving desired results and strategies to improve progress on indicators, Subdiv. (2) re making recommendations for new programs to achieve desired results, Subdiv. (3) re reviewing and commenting on proposed legislation, Subdiv. (4) re advising General Assembly and Governor concerning administration of certain programs, Subdiv. (5) re gathering and maintaining certain population-specific information, Subdiv. (6) re maintaining liaison between children and government agencies and Subdiv. (7) re conducting educational and outreach activities, added Subsec. (b) re content of annual report to General Assembly, and added Subsec. (c) re assistance of staff and making of recommendations to and advocacy before General Assembly, effective October 5, 2009.

Sec. 46a-130. Authority generally. (a) The commission may: (1) Request, and shall receive, from any state agency such information and assistance as the commission may require; (2) use such funds as may be available from federal, state or other sources and may enter into contracts to carry out the purposes of section 46a-129; (3) utilize voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, state or federal agencies and organizations as may, from time to time, be offered and needed; (4) recommend policies to federal agencies and political subdivisions of the state relative to the children of the state; (5) accept any gift, donation or bequest for the purpose of performing the duties described in section 46a-129; (6) hold public hearings; (7) establish task forces, as necessary, to perform the duties described in section 46a-129; (8) adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, as it may deem necessary to carry out the duties described in section 46a-129; and (9) inform leaders of business, education, state and local governments and the communications media of the nature and scope of the problems faced by children of the state, with a view to enlisting such persons’ support in working toward solving such problems.

(b) The commission may enter into any agreement with a state agency for the purpose of maximizing the receipt of federal funds by such state agency, provided such state agency shall utilize any federal funds received as a result of such agreement to perform those statutory duties of such agency that relate to such commission’s duties. The commission may accept that portion of federal funds received by any such state agency as a result of any such agreement which federal law otherwise permits to be received by such commission.

(P.A. 85-584, S. 5, 9; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 152.)

History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to delete former powers of commission and add Subdiv. (1) re requesting and receiving information from state agencies, Subdiv. (2) re use of funds and contracts, Subdiv. (3) re utilization of voluntary and uncompensated services, Subdiv. (4) re recommending policies, Subdiv. (5) re accepting gifts, donations or bequests, Subdiv. (6) re public hearings, Subdiv. (7) re task forces, Subdiv. (8) re regulations, and Subdiv. (9) re informing leaders of nature and scope of problems faced by children, and added Subsec. (b) re authority to enter agreements with state agencies for purpose of maximizing receipt of federal funds by such agency, effective October 5, 2009.

Sec. 46a-131. Information and assistance from state agencies. Acceptance of gifts. (a) The Commission on Children may request from all state agencies such information and assistance as it may require.

(b) The commission may accept any gifts, donations or bequests for any of the purposes of sections 46a-126 to 46a-131, inclusive.

(P.A. 85-584, S. 6, 9.)

Sec. 46a-131a. Annual social health index report. (a) The Commission on Children shall develop, within available appropriations, an annual social health index report for the state of Connecticut to monitor the social health of its citizens and assist the state in analyzing and publicizing social health issues and in evaluating the state’s progress in addressing these issues.

(b) Said commission may accept for the development of said index, any and all grants, contributions or donations of money and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same.

(P.A. 97-312, S. 4.)

Sec. 46a-131b. Youth leadership opportunities. The Commission on Children shall coordinate information on youth leadership opportunities that keep youth engaged in the community. The commission shall inform the General Assembly and the public of such opportunities.

(P.A. 10-133, S. 11.)

History: P.A. 10-133 effective June 8, 2010.

Secs. 46a-132 to 46a-149. Reserved for future use.