CT GOP senators: Child fatality data is “blaring wake-up call”

April 2, 2024

For Immediate Release

Sen. Heather Somers, Ranking Senator on the Public Health Committee, Sen. Lisa Seminara, Ranking Senator on the Committee on Children, Sen. Jeff Gordon, a medical doctor who serves on the Public Health Committee, Sen. Ryan Fazio, and Sen. Republican Leader Stephen Harding issued the following statement regarding data presented by the state’s Child Fatality Review Panel which highlights increased “deaths of despair.”

“This must be a blaring wake-up call for Connecticut Democrats and Republicans. Our public policies are failing. The results of that failure are tragedies. We are losing our precious children. We can either ignore this alarming data, or we can do something about it. We must shine a bright spotlight on this despair – confront it head on – if we hope to reverse this negative momentum. A collective agreement to admit we are failing is a start. Action steps which include key stakeholders must follow to address the gaping holes in our behavioral health system in both the near and long-term. Republicans stand ready to work tirelessly to reach these collaborative, achievable, life-saving solutions.”

Somers, along with Fazio, led passage of legislation commissioning a UConn Neag School of Education study to look at the effects of social media on youth in the state. “It’s the first study of its kind in the nation,” Somers and Fazio said. “Its findings will provide us with some really important data to make policy decisions on whether there should be an age limit for using social media and whether students should be allowed to have access to social media in school.”