Gov. Malloy’s original choice for Department on Aging commissioner was former state sand long-time advocate for seniors Edith Prague, sources tell The Hanging Shad. In fact, the announcement would have already been made had Prague not suffered a debilitating and painful fall in a freak incident. Now, given the long-term rehabilitation she faces, there’s question as to whether she’d be able to serve in the post at all. The Malloy administration did not answer repeated requests for comment.
Prague’s injuries were extensive—she broke her pelvis in three places—and came at a time when her longtime dream had just come to fruition, albeit very quietly. As of January 1, the state has a new Department of Aging—at least technically—with a very modest $100,000 budget for fiscal year 2013. The department has yet to be constituted.
Prague has fought to years to reestablish the department having once heading a previous version of the state department. In 1991, then-Gov. Lowell Weicker appointed Prague the department’s commissioner. But anyone who knows Prague, is keenly aware of her independent streak. The wheels came off that version of the Department on Aging when after Prague rebelled against Weicker. He fired her and the department was eventually folded in the massive state Department of Social Services.
Prague’s efforts to reestablish the department resulted in language to do just that being put in the state budget in 2005. The language has been in there in every budget since, but was always pushed off, never making in the final spending plan—until now. The Shad was in the caucus room when reestablishment was postponed year after year, much to the consternation of Sen. Prague.