Former state Sen. Edith Prague was finally named the commissioner of the newly reformed state department on aging Thursday, months after Gov. Dannell Malloy had originally planned to tap the resolute champion of seniors to the position.
As The Hanging Shad reported back in January, Prague was Malloy’s first choice for the position and an announcement was expected back then. But a freak accident laid up Prague and the move was postponed.
The spirited Prague has made a remarkable recovery and seems ready to go in the new position. Said Malloy, “Senator Prague has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life for senior citizens—with her background and expertise, she is a natural choice to lead the Department on Aging. I know she will make an immediate impact as the Commissioner on Aging and am eager to work with her to address the needs of our state’s growing senior population.”
Prague has fought to years to reestablish the department on aging 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 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 for years. The language has been in there continuously but was always pushed off, never making in the final spending plan—until this year. The Shad was in the caucus room when reestablishment was postponed year after year, much to the consternation of Sen. Prague.