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New Law To Aid Children During Recession

HARTFORD — Special help is on the way to children faced with the social economic and psychological impact of the deep recession.

Thanks to a new law signed by Gov.  M. Jodi Rell today.

The new law – House Bill 5360, An Act Concerning Children in the Recession – is a provision that makes, among other things, attending a two- or four-year degree program an acceptable form of work for parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the program known colloquially as “food stamps.”

Before, parents with children would lose critical benefits if they enrolled in school full-time.

The bill also creates a broad, multi-agency team to respond to the special needs of children caught up in economic crises like the recent global economic recession, according to a press release today. 

 “With his law, our state becomes the first in the nation to establish a comprehensive system for meeting the needs of children affected by the economic downturn,” Rell said. “We are creating a leadership team of state officials who will put together a unified government response to such problems as hunger and homelessness.”

 Rells goes on to say that the panel is “activated” when employment surpasses 8 percent. The goal is to enhance what she calls critical social services such as food stamps, medical assistance and unemployment.

The bill, Rell says, will also “seek to maximize the amount of federal aid the state receives.”

(In photo: In a July 14 bill signing ceremony in her State Capitol office, Gov. M. Jodi Rell (seated) was joined by members of the Children in the Recession Task Force.  Over the past year, the task force, led by Connecticut Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, held a series of hearings in every area of the state to hear first hand the effect of the recession on the children.)

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