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200 Research Parkway
Meriden, CT, 06450

(203)514-3028

The Arc Connecticut is an advocacy organization committed to protecting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to promoting opportunities for their full inclusion in the life of their communities.

State Representative District 106.jpg

State Representative District 106

MITCH BOLINSKY

eva zimmerman


QUESTION 1:  

 

Do you have any personal or professional experiences with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and/or their families?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

YES


QUESTION 2:  

 

For incumbent legislators, are you currently a member of the legislative I/DD Caucus?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

N/A


QUESTION 3:  

 

If elected to the legislature, do you pledge to work with Arc Connecticut families and staff to promote budgetary and policy initiatives aimed at improving the lives of people with I/DD and supporting their full rights and inclusion in Connecticut communities?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

YES


QUESTION 4:  

 

The recent case of CCJEF v. Rell, a case about the way the State funds education, included a ruling that would upend special education in Connecticut. The trial court recommended that certain children with multiple severe disabilities should be denied a free, appropriate public education, in violation of federal law, so that funding could instead be used for regular education. Further, the court has ordered the State to devise a plan that will implement this finding.

Do you pledge to protect the rights of students with disabilities to have access to a free and appropriate public education, just like all other children?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

YES


QUESTION 5:  

 

In 2013 The Arc Connecticut worked with legislators to form our nation’s first state level bipartisan, bicameral I/DD Caucus. The Caucus, which now has 69 members, has been instrumental in educating legislators and raising awareness about problems and inequities in our current system. Caucus legislators have also worked directly with families in increasing accountability at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and pushing back against cuts in services.

If elected, do you pledge to join the legislature’s bipartisan I/DD Caucus group in supporting the I/DD community through legislative and policy initiatives?

 

BOLINSKY


Already Member

ZIMMERMAN

YES


QUESTION 6:  

 

CT, once a leader in providing services to people with I/DD, has fallen behind. As other states move towards progressive, integrated, community living for people with I/DD, CT continues to cling to an outdated and discredited institutional model of care.

 
 

 

 

A)  If elected, would you actively work with The Arc Connecticut and the I/DD Caucus to shut down Connecticut’s institutions and dismantle our expensive, outdated, bifurcated dual system of service delivery that most other states already have abandoned?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

YES

 

 

 

B)  Would you support shifting DDS savings from institutional closings to support more inclusive, community based service models?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

NO

 

 

 

C)  Would you also support shifting savings to ensure cost-based reimbursement for private community providers and fair wages for direct support professionals who provide support to people with I/DD in the community?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

YES


QUESTION 7:  

 

If elected, would you join with Arc Families for Families in our push to redirect savings from DDS efficiencies, group home privatizations, and institutional closures to serve the more than 2,000 people with I/DD who are stranded on DDS waiting & planning lists with no hope of receiving services until their parents die?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

NO


QUESTION 8:

 

Connecticut, unlike many other states, has historically offered Day & Employment services for all new graduates with I/DD from our secondary schools.

This year we came dangerously close to losing funding for new graduates.  Day & Employment services create meaningful and fulfilling opportunities for individuals with disabilities to work and lead productive and integrated lives in their communities. The loss of these services would be especially cruel to young people who have spent years of hard work in school, building the skills they need to start their adult lives. It would waste the millions of dollars CT schools invest in special education and it would cause great hardship as well as the loss of family income and tax dollars, as hundreds of parents would need to leave their jobs to stay home with their adult children who cannot be left alone.   

If elected to the legislature, do you pledge to join families in fighting against any budget that cuts or eliminates funding for new graduates with I/DD? 

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

YES


QUESTION 9:  

 

Last year, The Arc Connecticut worked with legislators to pass a DDS Family’s Rights Bill. As a result, DDS has been working with Arc families to clarify and improve some of their internal processes.  But we still have a long way to go to create a system that is predictable, transparent and gives families and people the information they need to advocate for themselves.

If elected to the legislature, do you pledge to support initiatives designed to hold DDS accountable and require greater transparency and support for individuals with I/DD and their families?

BOLINSKY

YES

ZIMMERMAN

YES


MITCH BOLINSKY

Party Affiliation:
Republican

Website: 
www.MitchForNewtown.com

Other Comments: 
This was the easiest survey I've ever taken because, as you know, I always stand with ARC. It's the right thing to do. Compassionate care and opportunities for a life of personal fulfillment and purpose draw me to ARC families who's voices will always be heard, thanks to our close alliance. I was one of the original I/DD Caucus members, right behind Beth, Jay and John. You know me and know that we share common goals meaning.  
Sincerely, Mitch

 

EVA ZIMMERMAN

Party Affiliation:
Democrat

Website:
www.evafornewtown.com

Other Comments:
I believe that I/DD services should be fully funded. I will be honest I can not condone the privatization of services. I strongly believe that front line workers be able to build a career and raise a family on the pay and benefits that is justly deserved for the work they do. A happy workforce is happy clients and patients. I also believe that peer reviewed studies on best practices should be used to determine future policy and am happy to work with all parties to delive the best possible care.