The Village has named Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives Matt Ritter and Deputy Majority Leader and State Representative Tammy Exum as The Village’s 2022 Champions for Children, recognizing them for leading passage of landmark bipartisan legislation addressing Connecticut’s mental health crisis in the 2022 legislative session.
The new legislation, which will provide a $100 million expansion to increase access to services, improve affordability and bolster prevention efforts, will help The Village provide critical aid to children as the demand for services has surged across the state due to COVID-19.
“The children’s mental health bill will transform lives and it will save lives—and it would not have happened without the leadership of Speaker Matt Ritter and Rep. Tammy Exum,” said Village President and CEO Galo Rodriguez. “They are true champions of our cause, and The Village is proud to honor them as our 2022 Champions for Children.”
The Village’s Champions for Children awards acknowledge major contributions, advocacy and leadership in support of the health and wellbeing of children, which directly aligns with The Village’s 200-year-old mission to build a community of strong, healthy families who protect and nurture children.
Throughout the 2022 session, Speaker Ritter made addressing Connecticut mental health crisis one of his top priorities.
“After going through the pandemic, being the father of two young kids and listening to the stories of my neighbors and colleagues about needing access to mental health services, insurance roadblocks, lack of beds and the lack of space, I said to my staff: ‘We have to do something,” Speaker Ritter said. “When the bill was put on the board in the Connecticut General Assembly, every single person voted for that bill in the State House of Representatives and the Connecticut State Senate.”
During the 2022 session, Rep. Exum served as the Connecticut House of Representatives’ lead sponsor on mental health legislation.
“At a time such as this, with the urgency of now, I find it to be my privilege to be able to work on this comprehensive, transformative legislation that will absolutely help and save lives.” Rep. Exum said.
Both Speaker Ritter and Rep. Exum were honored for their leadership at The Village’s Annual Champions for Children Celebration on Thursday, May 19.