Senator Hwang, Rep. Bolinsky Hosting Forum in Newtown for Intellectually, Developmentally Disabled Community

March 27, 2015

To provide local families who would be impacted by proposed cuts to the state Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget an opportunity to share their concerns, state Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) and state Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) are joining with The Arc Connecticut to host an informational forum in Newtown.

The forum will take place at the C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main St. in Newtown, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 9.

The Arc Connecticut is an advocacy organization committed to protecting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to promoting opportunities for their full inclusion in the life of their communities. Both Sen. Hwang and Rep. Bolinsky are members of the General Assembly’s Intellectual/Developmentally Disabled (I/DD) Caucus, and therefore are at the forefront of legislative efforts to support this segment of our community.

The two Newtown legislators have received correspondence from several families from Newtown and communities throughout the 28th District and beyond, expressing serious concerns about the negative impact that Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed cuts to DDS would have on their families. Cuts to DDS have already been made in the current fiscal year that ends June 30, as Gov. Malloy unilaterally acts to close a growing deficit, and he called for further cuts to the department in his proposed biennial budget, including to its Volunteer Services Program.

“The proposed budget cuts to The Department of Developmental Services will have a devastating impact, especially on children and new graduates who will be left with virtually no supports,” said Leslie Simoes, Arc’s Executive Director. “We are grateful to Senator Hwang and Representative Bolinsky for agreeing to co-host this forum and for all that they are doing to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to get the services and the fair treatment they deserve.”

“I recognize that our state government has a spending and taxation problem, and I am committed to weighing every dollar we spend against its anticipated benefit. Yet I will be standing by our families who have developmentally disabled loved ones and fighting not only for a reinstatement of funds, but also for a long-term, sustainable funding mechanism that does not subject these families to the fear and uncertainty they are faced with every year around budget time,” Sen. Hwang said. “Doing so is not only a financially sound solution; it’s the right thing to do.”

“I am especially looking forward to hearing from these individuals and families in person, so that we can deliver their message back to our colleagues in the legislature,” Sen. Hwang added.

Rep. Bolinsky said, “I share the concerns of our special needs families, in Newtown and statewide. The Governor’s proposed budget inappropriately targets them and other vulnerable citizens of Connecticut. I will continue to advocate for the restoration of DDS Voluntary Services Programs funding. As a member of the bi-partisan I/DD caucus, I know we have a strong, unified voice that is applying pressure to have the state keep its promises. Also, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I can attest to these cuts being distasteful to fellow members on both sides of the aisle. We can’t predict the outcome but can promise to fight.”

While the forum has been scheduled to provide families who have an intellectually or developmentally disabled loved one with an opportunity to connect directly with their elected state representatives, all are welcome to attend. Kindly RSVP to Erika Pocock at [email protected] or by calling 800-842-1421.

Please join State Senator Tony Hwang, State Representative Mitch Bolinsky & ARC CT for an Informational Forum The Governor’s proposed budget calls for cuts to the DDS budget and the Voluntary Services Program, and the Newtown delegates would like to provide a forum for families who would be impacted by those cuts to share their thoughts and concerns. Thurs. • April 9, 2015 • 6:30 – 8 pm C.H. Booth Library • Meeting Room 25 Main Street • Newtown, CT While the forum is designed for the developmentally disabled community, all are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to: Erika Pocock at or 1-800-842-1421. E N N C T I C O U T C