Two prominent lobbying groups that represent nonprofits plan to merge next month, days before the start of a legislative session likely to find them trying to avert funding cuts to their members.

The Connecticut Association of Nonprofits and the Connecticut Community Providers Association plan to join forces under a new name – the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance. The groups said in a statement Tuesday that they will have 600 members when the merger takes place Feb. 1.

Members include many nonprofit social service agencies that contract with the state. Their funding is often among the most vulnerable parts of the state budget, since it is generally not tied to entitlement programs like Medicaid, state employee contracts or other obligations that are more difficult to cut.

The groups also represent nonprofits that advocate for or provide services in health care, arts and culture, housing, recreation and education.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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