Gov. Dannel Malloy signed Public Act 13-227 AA  — Making the Janitorial Work Pilot Program for Persons with a Disability or Disadvantage Permanent — into law last week.

The bill was vetted through a public hearing in the Connecticut General Assembly Government Administration and Elections (GAE) committee and was favorably passed out of committee to the General Assembly. The act, championed by GAE Committee ranking leader Rep. Tony Hwang, and Chairman Sen. Anthony Musto, along with co-sponsor Rep. Dave Rutigliano, made the successful Janitorial Work Pilot Program for persons with a disability or handicap permanent. The objective of the program is to empower those with developmental disabilities to achieve a sense of independence and enriched living through work.

The passage and implementation of PA 13-277 will support employment opportunities for the developmentally disabled along with community non-profits that work to coordinate and place individuals with job opportunities. One such important community organization is The Kennedy Center.

“The Kennedy Center serves as an amazing advocate for people affected by developmental disabilities in our community,” said Rep. Hwang. “Their collaborative educational, rehabilitative and job training efforts helps so many of their client members realize their dreams of working and earning a wage which ultimately leads to independent living. That mission, especially when employment and economic independence seem so challenging in this current economic climate. I want to thank The Kennedy Center and their staff and volunteers for the amazing work they do on a day to day basis to help their clients fulfill that dream of independence and enriched living.”

“I want to thank the Kennedy Center for all they do for our community,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “They change the lives of so many people and this program is another example of the great work they do. I am glad to see such a successful program made permanent.”

“I want to thank all the people who helped make this new law possible, but particularly the Kennedy Center for all the work they do to help people living with developmental disabilities grow and become self-sufficient members of our communities,” said Sen. Musto. “Achieving independence is an important goal in every person's life, and I am glad that we have been able to pass this law that will help individuals reach that goal. The Janitorial Work Program has already helped many of our neighbors enrich their growth through gainful employment, and with this new act the program will be able to touch the lives of even more people.”

“This legislation provides work opportunities for individuals with disabilities and economic disadvantages by giving them the chance to obtain integrated employment in State Office Buildings,” said Terry Edelstein, the Nonprofit State Liaison Office of the Governor.

"We appreciate the state's support in assisting people with disabilities,” said The Kennedy Center CEO Marty Schwartz. “This provides our client members with the opportunity to learn and grow and gives them a sense of enrichment and fulfillment. They get a chance to earn money for themselves and become productive members of society. We are grateful to Governor Malloy, Representatives Hwang and Rutigliano, along with Senator Musto, and Terry Edelstein for their invaluable contributions.”