Governor’s Council on Women & Girls’ 2021 legislative agenda focuses on helping women succeed

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Women’s History Month kicked off this week. To mark the occasion, the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls unveiled a set of legislative proposals for this session to help women succeed.

Back in Jan. 2019, when the Governor took office, he formed the Council on Women and Girls.

Gov. Ned Lamont said, “Women’s participation in the workforce is at a 30-year low. It’s a 30-year low related to what’s going on in Covid.”

The council wants to advance key causes in this legislative session. But what does that look like?

State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) said, “We need more parents in the general assembly so more of these issues can be at the forefront of our agenda.”

For one, they want to allow candidates for state office to have the ability to use public funds for childcare expenses — Something is already in place at the federal level.

There’s also a proposal to simplify the application process for state boards & commissions in hopes it would draw a more diverse candidate pool.

Another bill would expand the Bulk Ride Transit Pass, so low-income women and girls can easily get to and from school and work.

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, who is co-chair of the council, said, “Jahana Hayes when she was running for Congress in 2018, was able to use a portion of her campaign funding for childcare of her then 8-year-old son. So, we want to make sure at the state level this same opportunity is afforded.”

The plan further moves to ease license barriers for Connecticut transplants, and remove age requirements on many job applications. It also seeks to mend housing and zoning laws for at-home childcare centers.

Military spouses and others could get licensed by the departments of Consumer Protection and Public Health after a solid year in another state.

State Rep. Mike D’Agostino (D-Hamden) said, “Everything from bakers and chiropractors to real estate brokers to the trades, plumbers…to hairdressers.”

Four of the six bills were generated by the Governor’s office. The other two by state lawmakers.

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