At Connecticut’s intersection of policy and people

centerpiece week ending feb 15.pdf

The Connecticut Mirror

Mirror reporters attend hearings and other events at the State Capitol and around the state, but rather than just relay what happened, they often use these as jumping off points to examine issues more deeply and from various perspectives.

On Monday, we ran a story by health reporter Arielle Levin Becker that was far more than a report on a public hearing that had taken place the Friday before.  Here’s her opening sentence:

“Scott Langner was so excited when he learned he could one day move into an apartment with friends that he soon began talking about the invitations he’d use for his housewarming party.”

And so readers learned about a young man who has developmental disabilities, autism and a seizure disorder. He lives with his parents but had hoped to live a life of greater independence. Because of budget cuts, however, the state can no longer pay for residential supports for Langner and hundreds of others in similar situations. When their parents die, they will be moved into whatever housing is available, even if it’s on the other side of the state, away from the people they know.

How many people are affected by this budget cut? Levin Becker wrote:

“Hundreds of families, many waiting for services showed up at the state Capitol complex Friday to implore lawmakers to restore funding for developmental services. So many attended that they filled multiple hearing rooms, including the largest one in the building.”

This is a complicated issue. And the state Department of Developmental Services is just one of many government agencies performing constant balancing acts, weighing short- and long-term needs, trying to determine how best to spend limited resources. But this is precisely where the best of intentions and real people intersect.

And it’s this type of situation – the intersection of policy and people – that we at The Mirror try to present to readers in as balanced a way, and in as strong a light, as possible.

Other stories this week include:

Health
Malloy:  Let nurse practitioners in CT work independent of doctors
Post-Newtown gun law has a mental health loophole, critics say
Ct hospitals’ group recommends notifying patients on facilities fees, costs

Environment
No fracking in Connecticut, but what about its waste?

Schools/Children
Top CT budget lawmaker: Where’s money for social workers?
Malloy’s Regents’ plan raises state support above pre-cut levels
Ct college officials question proposed sexual assault law

Washington
Out-of-state money plays big role in CT lawmakers’ campaigns  (with interactive graphic)
Malloy considering blocking food stamps cuts 

Politics

He’s the coy Malloy, in no hurry to declare
Elections panel cautions CT Democrats on fundraising
Presidential popular vote advocates lobbying CT GOP 

See you Monday, and have a great weekend….

Jenifer Frank
Mirror Editor

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