Sen. Fasano Responds to Gov. Malloy’s Veto of Bill to Increase DCF Transparency & Oversight

June 13, 2018

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement in response to Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of Senate Bill 188 (Public Act 18-140) An Act Establishing the State Oversight Council on Children and Families.

“One of the state’s most critical jobs is protecting our most vulnerable children. No child welfare system will ever be perfect or prevent every tragedy. However, over the past few years we have seen a pattern of gross system failures within the state’s Department of Children and Families that demands far more agency oversight and transparency. This bill would take a major step forward in bringing more experts to the table and shining a light on the system failures that have led to the tragic and unnecessary abuse and neglect of children under the watch of the current administration. By replacing an ineffective self-monitoring system with a truly independent oversight council that has the ability to take action and effectuate change we can do a better job serving the needs of vulnerable children. Sadly, Governor Malloy’s veto shows that he doesn’t want to work together to achieve this goal. He doesn’t want sunlight on this agency. He would rather continue to operate in the dark where only the executive branch has a say. This is the same exact problem we have seen in DCF for some time. Instead of welcoming input from others and embracing changes that could improve the agency and better protect children, the governor and his commissioner are more concerned with protecting their own philosophy. That arrogance has led to the preventable abuse and death of far too many children. Lawmakers should override this veto and stand up for the commonsense oversight DCF so desperately needs. ”


Senate Bill 188 would create an effective independent Child Welfare Oversight Council to monitor and analyze DCF operations and make recommendations to the agency and legislature for improvements designed to improve the efficacy of our child welfare programs and address the gross systems failures identified in recent tragic cases involving the death, neglect and abuse of children while under the oversight of DCF.

Connecticut previously had a “State Advisory Council on Children and Families” that lacked the independence and statutory authority to truly oversee the agency and effectuate change, hence the need for this bill. Without this legislation, under the old State Advisory Council on Children and Families, thirteen of the nineteen members were appointed by the Governor. The remaining six members came from the Regional Advisory Councils, the members of which are appointed by the Commissioner. Thus the entire “Advisory Council” in previous years was comprised of members appointed by the Governor or the Commissioner with no representatives of or appointees of the legislative branch. The Council also depended on DCF for administrative support and the Commissioner was an ex officio member. The old Advisory Council also was not required to hold meetings and had no specific powers to investigate DCF operations and no mandate to provide recommendations.

Senate Bill 188 would replace the stagnant and powerless Advisory Council with an independent Oversight Council with the statutory authority and mandate to truly oversee DCF operations and recommend improvements and policy changes designed to specifically address the identified issues.

(For more information, Sen. Fasano’s testimony in support of Senate Bill 188 is available here:,%20Leonard,%20Senator-Connecticut%20General%20Assembly-TMY.PDF)