Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees

March 4, 2020

Submitted by: Mackenzie Baysinger

The National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter representing over 2,400 members supports S.B 354. Climate change is the greatest threat facing our world today and it is imperative that we begin to make the necessary changes to restore the environment now.

Low-income communities in both urban and rural areas are disproportionately impacted by climate change relative to other communities. In low income areas there are higher rates of adverse health conditions, environmental hazards, and a longer recovery period from natural disasters.

Urban areas produce 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. Those living in cities or near pollution sights are at a greater risk of health issues. These populations are often those without adequate income to move somewhere out of the way of harm. We must act to ensure some of Connecticut’s most vulnerable to health impacts remain safe in their home.

This bill also establishes a workforce development, retraining and apprenticeship program for clean energy jobs. A similar bill was passed in Illinois which led to between $12 to $15 billion in additional private investment and created tens of thousands of new jobs. Green jobs are an investment in our state’s economic future and Connecticut, which has a long history of specialized manufacturing, is well positioned to become a national leader in this area.

We must protect the safety and well-being of those in Connecticut and the world. By passing this piece of legislation we will be on the right track in making a difference for our world and its people.

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