Like many areas of the country, the Nutmeg state has a huge budget deficit and must make drastic cuts. According to the Hartford Courant, one of the items on the governor’s “hit list” is the state’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. This agency, and other state commissions around the country, were modeled after President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women, founded in 1961 to address the enormous gender inequality in the United States at this time (remember, this was the Mad Men era, when women were supposed to be either in the kitchen or the secretarial pool, not the board room). Although the President’s Commission disbanded in 1963 after issuing a report on the problems facing American women, many states created Permanent Commissions to continue the important work started under Kennedy. Various letters and editorials in the Courant have made strong arguments in favor of keeping this agency alive. I just want to remind our dunder-head of a Governor what the word “permanent” means. According to the OED:
a. Continuing or designed to continue or last indefinitely without change; abiding, enduring, lasting; persistent. Opposed to temporary.
If you are looking for foresight from this governor, you’ll have to employ a microscope. Maybe it’s a consequence of only working every other day but she seems like the most reactive politician I’ve ever seen in an executive position.
Maybe the commission could start a pro wrestling franchise and donate $5000 to her re-election?
How much state money realistically does this commission cost? My guess is that it doesn’t meet that frequently, so it was easy enough to put on the chopping block–not because it would really save money, but because it’s something to put on the list that makes it look like Rell is serious about solving the budget problems. Maybe the women of Connecticut should ask for the commission to issue another report, to get their money’s worth?
I’m not sure how much the PCSW by itself receives — along with the other special commissions (for aging, children, African Americans and Latinos) the allotment is only about 5 million. These commissions actually meet frequently and are very visible in the legislature.
Funds for historic preservation were also targeted for cuts but that got saved because we and other historians in the state made a convincing case that history=tourism=$$$.