Legislative Agenda

2021 Legislative Agenda

The Education for Legislative Action Network committee of the National Association of Social Workers / Connecticut Chapter (NASW/CT) sets forth its 2021 agenda aligning with the five social justice priorities established by the 2018/2019 NASW national board: voting rights, criminal justice/juvenile justice, environmental justice, immigration, and economic justice. NASW/CT pledges in 2021 to organize our membership to advocate in areas where we are uniquely impacted regarding specifics to the social work profession and larger social justice issues facing our state.

Proposed Legislative Goals for NASW/CT:

Advancing Racial, Economic, and Social Justice

NASW/CT supports legislation that specifically promotes elimination of inequities and disparities relating to race, class, and ethnicity. We seek actions that promote anti-racist policies and culturally responsive practices in all aspects of community life, including but not limited to social services, health care, mental health and addiction services, education, affordable housing, employment, and equitable access to capital and justice.

NASW/CT supports legislation that specifically promotes LGBTQIA rights and women’s rights, including maintaining a woman’s right to birth control and all reproductive health services.

NASW/CT supports legislation that specifically promotes fighting climate change in the form of improving air and water quality via elimination of lead poisoning and reduction of pollution in low-income communities.

 NASW/CT supports legislation that specifically promotes increased access to broadband technology.

NASW/CT supports legislation that specifically promotes student debt relief.

Protecting Safety Net Services

NASW/CT holds the position that every Connecticut resident and family should be able to meet their basic human needs. NASW/CT opposes cuts to safety net programs that serve Connecticut’s most vulnerable populations and supports programs that prevent individuals from falling into poverty.

Expanding Access to Comprehensive Medical and Behavioral Health Care

NASW/CT believes that every Connecticut resident has the right and access to comprehensive health care. Specifically, we support public options for health coverage, affording prescription co-pays at all income levels, expansion of Medicaid/HUSKY eligibility to 201% of the federal poverty level, and Medicaid coverage for undocumented immigrants.

NASW/CT calls for making permanent telehealth provisions for audio only, provider rates being equal for in-person and telehealth services, utilization of any HIPAA compliant platform and Medicaid coverage.

NASW/CT calls for increased funding for community-based prevention and mental health and addiction services including a greater emphasis on children and adolescents. Specifically, we support increased funding to non-profit mental health providers and school-based health care centers and supports legislation for school social workers in every public school.

NASW/CT calls for planning to occur immediately for the tsunami of mental health and addiction needs that has been brought on by Covid-19.

Policing, Justice, and Prison Reform

NASW/CT supports legislation that specifically promotes bail reform, juvenile justice reform, elimination of solitary confinement, prison phone justice, clean slate laws, reallocating funds from incarceration to decarceration, police accountability, and programs that offer community-based crisis interventions, treatment, and alternatives to arrest and incarceration.

Voting and Election Reform

NASW/CT supports encouragement of voting by all eligible residents. We support early voting, mail in voting, no excuse absentee voting and allowing parolees to vote.

Tax Reform

NASW/CT supports tax reform that promotes economic justice. We support increased income taxes on the wealthy, expansion of the estate and gift tax, establishment of a surcharge on investment income and a sunset on corporate tax breaks. To advance economic justice for low-income households we support expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Protecting and Strengthening the Profession

NASW/CT supports legislation that allows social workers to practice at their highest level of scope of practice. We support a nursing-home-bed-to-social-worker ratio of 60 beds to 1 social worker; expanding professional opportunities for social workers in the public, for-profit, and nonprofit settings; Medicaid coverage for social work services in home care; and measures to assure workplace safety, inclusive of physical and emotional trauma and personal protective equipment.