GREENWICH, Conn. – The Greenwich Democratic Town Committee is asking the Connecticut General Assembly to reconsider the consolidation of six legislative commissions into two agencies, stating that consolidation will compromise the mission of the six commissions.
The most recent state budget plan submitted to Gov. Dannel Malloy on Thursday by the General Assembly Democratic leadership calls for the consolidation of the commissions into two agencies in an effort to trim $715,000 from the combined budgets of $2.7 million.
One of the proposed agencies, Women and Children, would cover the work of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Children and the Commission on Aging. An Equal Opportunity Commission would take on the work of the African-American Affairs Commission, the Asian-Pacific-American Affairs Commission and the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.
Through its chairman, Jeffrey Ramer, the GDTC is requesting that the leadership reconsider the proposal and allow the commissions to continue operating independently and says that the structure of the organizations should not be altered before a thorough assessment of the impact is considered.
“It is unfortunate that balancing the budget frequently happens on the backs of the underrepresented and less fortunate, even in a wealthy and progressive state like Connecticut,” said Ramer. “The Greenwich Democratic Town Committee would prefer the commissions come up with a budget savings solution rather than imposing a harmful consolidation on these agencies.”
The town committee also stated the commissions should be given an opportunity to suggest less damaging ways to achieve the budget savings target.
“PCSW and the other legislatively created commissions are small in size but are vital forces in researching and advocating for issues impacting women, minority populations, children and the aging. The proposal to consolidate these commissions risks minimizing and diluting the unique challenges faced by these under-represented populations," said Mary Lee Kiernan, chair of thePCSW.
The GDTC has called on Greenwich residents to contact the Democratic leadership asking that it reconsider the proposal.