Connecticut Gov. Creates Advocacy Cabinet for Nonprofits

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January 4, 2011; Source: | Deborah Heinrich, a state representative in Connecticut has stepped down from her elected spot to join the new administration of Governor Dan Malloy as the head of the newly formed Community Nonprofit Human Services Cabinet, an entity that will “advocate” for nonprofits. The position will function at the same level as the head of a state agency.

The cabinet is an initiative that Malloy has long supported and a bill to establish it was passed by the legislature last year but vetoed by the then governor M. Jodi Rell. Connecticut contracts with 300 nonprofits to provide critical services. The relationship between the state and nonprofits is one the Malloy administration clearly and wisely wants to nurture.

“We cannot allow the difficult budget situation we face to decimate the services provided to those people in Connecticut who need them the most,” says Heinrich, who has been given legislative awards both by the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits and the Connecticut Community Providers.

“This will be a challenge, no doubt about it, but I’m looking forward to working with Gov.-elect Malloy and others in his administration to preserve the safety net and provide services, while reducing the cost to taxpayers.” We do not know what that last part means exactly but there have been some eyebrows raised about the new position in the context of a stressed state budget.—Ruth McCambridge

  • Andy Robinson

    A Vermont report from about eight years ago stated that nonprofits were a $2.4 billion industry in the state — bigger than the retail sector. Also, nonprofits provided one out of nine jobs in Vermont. If much smaller sectors of the economy — for example, agriculture and forestry — are represented in the governor’s cabinet, why not nonprofits?