The thrills of public policy (a non-ironic point of view)

CT Mirror, Week of March 10, 2014

The CT Mirror

CT Mirror, Week of March 10, 2014

Saturday letter March 15, 2014

You can’t find a topic more exciting than public policy.  No, really.

Yes, legislative debates can be ridiculously long, redundant and ridiculously off-topic. But the issues can be – potentially – momentous, for specific individuals, and all of us.

So regardless of your view of them, and regardless of whether they are ultimately approved, consider that your state representatives are discussing issues as far-reaching as:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $10.10.
  • A bill of rights for domestic workers.
  • An act concerning children’s exposure to chemicals.
And as significant, for some individuals, as:
  • Increasing eligibility for the Connecticut Home-Care Program for the elderly.
  • Increasing public assistance to grandparents and other relatives raising children.
  • Sick leave for teacher assistants and radiologic technologists.
This week, reporter Keith Phaneuf wrote that House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey wants to start a discussion next year on, as Phaneuf wrote, “Connecticut’s long-ignored property tax crisis.” Sharkey said the state should consider taking over certain local expenses, such as special education, while discussing a ceiling on property taxes. “This requires an overhaul on a grand scale,” he noted.Friday, health writer Arielle Levin Becker wrote of end-of-life legislation that has attracted the support of some who in the past opposed such measures – people with disabilities and the Catholic Church. This bill would create a pilot program — voluntary and only for patients in certain situations – where patients can determine — and, in fact, order —  what kind of end-of-life care they want.Legislation like this — these public policy measures — can shake and change all of us, WE are the public in public policy.Other strong stories this week:* Even without challengers, CT lawmakers spend millions ‘campaigning’
— with interactive Campaign Spending Explorer

* Proposal to let nurse practitioners practice independently advances

* Beth Bye brings passion, toughness to budget chairmanship

* 2 percent tuition increase hinges on big growth in enrollment  

Common Core moves forward; Malloy sets up task force for implementation 

* Feds determine Metro-North put on-time performance before safety 

or, go to www.ctmirror.org for a complete report.

Have a great weekend….

Jenifer Frank
Mirror Editor

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