Having attended nine hours of testimony at the State Legislature’s Education Committee public hearings in Hartford on Wednesday, Feb. 24, the divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in Connecticut has become even more apparent.
     Numerous local and national representatives of the Boys and Girls Clubs pleaded with the Legislature to exempt their organization from added regulations (HB5306), which would force them to serve fewer underprivileged youth during these times of great need.  Speaking passionately about their fine accomplishments while working with a tattered, shoestring budget, they asked only for a pass on proposed legislation.
     In contrast, the Region 12’s $29 million proposal (HB5304), replete with a 23,500 square foot indoor riding arena, planned for the rural, wealthy, “Whitelandia” towns of Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington and located within a ten mile radius of two existing Ag/Science centers seemed to get a pass from the Committee. No hard questions asked, only favorable comments.  By the time opposing viewpoints were heard it was almost 8 p.m.
     Curiously, detailed plans for this project don’t appear on the state website but can be seen on Region 12’s web site.
Janet Buonaiuto lives in Washington, CT.

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