Rep. Green Praises Legislation Promoting "Visit-Ability" Housing
Lauds Bonding For Hartford, Other New Laws For Domestic Violence, Education
August 04, 2010
State Rep. Kenneth P. Green, House chair of the legislature’s Housing Committee, said legislation that he sponsored and was signed into law recently by the governor will promote housing accessible for the physically disabled who want to visit with their relatives or friends.
Rep. Green (D-Hartford, Bloomfield) said the Act Concerning Accessible Housing (PA 10-56) will encourage developers of single-family homes to construct units that promote “visitability” – a home that has accessibility and facilities for people with physical disabilities who simply want to visit with a friend or relative.
The new legislation also addresses multi-family residential development by advocating that 25 percent of dwelling units be accessible if the projects use public money.
“We as citizens have been deprived of the opportunity to have our friends, loved ones and relatives who are physically disabled visit us in our homes,” Rep. Green said. “This concept of visit-ability will benefit all.”
The legislation authorizes the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), in consultation with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), to establish a program that encourages Connecticut developers to build residential homes that are easy for people with disabilities to visit (commonly known as visitable housing). It defines “visitable housing” as one-to-four family residential housing with “visitable features,” which are (1) interior doorways that provide a minimum 32-inch wide clear opening, (2) at least one accessible means of egress, and (3) at least one full or half bathroom on the first floor that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.
Rep. Green also praised new legislation he co-sponsored that will help domestic violence victims, create more rigorous education standards and stimulate job creation, which the state desperately needs.
Green said that helping domestic violence victims was a priority in this year's legislative session, and the 2010-11 state budget includes $1.75 million to keep 18 domestic violence shelters open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new domestic violence laws also require some school employees to learn about teen dating and domestic violence as part of in-service training.
“These new laws will give advocates the tools they need to help victims of domestic violence,” Green said. “Another new law creating a pilot program for electronic monitoring of high-risk domestic violence offenders also will help to prevent violence.”
Among the three new education laws that Rep. Green supported is one that will make high school graduation requirements more rigorous, change teacher evaluations and give parents the power to force change in failing schools.
For future high school students, it means a foreign-language requirement and more math and science classes in order to graduate. The new requirements first apply to the Class of 2018.
Another law changes the way the state's technical school system is administered and budgeted to make sure the schools are properly maintained and have safe buses and the necessary supplies. Individual schools will be responsible for their own budgets.
The third education-related bill requires coaches to pull intramural and interscholastic athletes from games or practices if they show signs of a concussion, or if they are diagnosed with one. It also would require anyone with a coach's permit issued by the state school board to complete a course on how to recognize and respond to head injuries and concussions.
Rep. Green also supported a key jobs-creation bill that was approved overwhelmingly by the General Assembly and signed into law recently. The new law promotes job growth with a revolving loan program for small businesses and another program that would give investors tax credits for supporting new business ventures.
“This legislation will provide the necessary capital to encourage businesses to locate and expand in Connecticut and create the jobs we need to dig out of this recession,” Green said.
Rep. Green also secured the following bond authorization approvals for Bloomfield and Hartford in the past legislative session:
• Bloomfield façade improvement program, $500,000
• Bloomfield 4-H Center at Auer Farm improvements, $1.2 million
• Hartford downtown parking projects, $3 million
• Revitalization of Hartford’s Pope Park, $1 million
• Improvements to the city’s flood control system, $7 million
• Bridge over the Park River in Hartford, $500,000
• Hartford public safety complex and regional emergency management center, $1 million
Rep. Green (D-Hartford) represents the 1st Assembly District, which includes Hartford and Bloomfield.
Reprinted with permission of the NorthEnd Agent's.
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