Don Clemons

Background

Connecticut has entered an economic recession that will affect children and families for decades to come.
Three things have become painfully clear:

  • Virtually all the progress made in children's economic well-being since 1975 is likely to be wiped out by the downturn.
  • The impact is especially severe for low-income children of color.
  • Children who fall into poverty now will feel the impact well past the economic recovery.

First Focus, a nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C., has developed some estimates of the economic costs relating to two aspects of recession-induced child poverty in Connecticut: lost earnings and poorer health outcomes. Specifically:

  • An additional 35,000 Connecticut children will fall into poverty during this recession.
  • As adults, these children will earn an average of $19,000 less annually than their Connecticut peers who avoided poverty.
  • Their health will worsen. By age 37, they'll be 20 percent less likely than their peers to report being in very good health.
  • The economic cost to Connecticut from the forgone earnings and poorer health status of these children will run to $800 million per year.

May 2, 2011
Speaker Christopher G. Donovan opens a meeting of the Speaker's Task Force on Children in the Recession, chaired by Rep. Diana Urban. Last year's incarnation of the task force crafted the first piece of legislation in the country dealing with the recession's effects on children. This session that work will continue with renewed emphasis on poverty prevention and job creation.

May 2, 2011
State Representative Diana Urban, Co-Chair of the Speaker's Task Force on Children in the Recession, presents opening remarks on Monday's Task Force Forum. Rep. Urban noted that Connecticut was the first in the nation to form a legislative task force to plan for children in the recession and during the recovery. She emphasized that the work of the task force will continue as long as there are needs to be addressed.