Citing a need to improve the state’s ability to assist Connecticut residents affected by a large scale weather event or natural disaster, Gov. Dannel Malloy has put forward proposed legislation to formalize and centralize the collection and distribution of donations in response to a natural disaster or other emergency.
Malloy announced his proposal during a press conference at the East Haven Town Beach on Monday. East Haven, like much of Madison and the rest of the Connecticut shoreline, was hit hard by both Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy.
CT CARE Fund
According to the governor, the proposed legislation — once approved by the General Assembly — would create the Connecticut Coordinated Assistance and Recovery Endowment or CT CARE.
The fund would put in place an infrastructure to collect private donations in response to an emergency or disaster, and then distribute those funds "in accordance with the intent of donors," Malloy said.
Additionally, CT CARE would establish several separate accounts restricted to each emergency, as well as an "endowment for operations and sustainability."
The entire program would be managed by a volunteer board of directors.
In response to an emergency declaration, CT CARE's spending committee will make recommendations to the executive board, which will then make final decisions for distribution of funds.
Similar programs are already in place in several other states, Malloy said, including Massachusetts and New Jersey.
'A Trusted Venue for Donors'
The governor, flanked by other state and local East Haven officials, said Monday the fund would "build on important progress" the state has made in responding to natural disasters and other larger scale emergencies.
“Working in conjunction with state and municipal emergency officials, this fund will provide a trusted venue for donors, and will help us get needed assistance to victims quickly," he said.
While donations to the CT CARE Fund will pass through the state, Malloy noted that "100 percent of all donations are restricted to carry out the donor’s intent."
He added that funds will not be available to the state for any other spending purposes.
Spending Committee, Executive Board
The fund's spending committee will be made up of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Regional Coordinator, municipal CEO (s), the local Regional Emergency Response Team (REPT) Chair and the Office of Victims Services.
The executive board will consist of seven gubernatorial appointments from the nonprofit, corporate, and accounting community, a representative of the nonprofit community, five Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security REPT Chairs that are appointed by municipal leaders, the Office of Policy and Management Secretary, and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Deputy Commissioner.