Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Rell Vetoes Contracting Reform

Privatization of State Services at Issue

Gov. Rell today vetoed a contracting reform bill for much the same reasons that she vetoed a similar bill in July, namely that it would have subjected the privatization of state services to regulation. The reform bill is one of the major pieces of campaign finance reform, which the governor has supported. Rell did implement some of the measures the bill contains by executive order this summer.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Dan Malloy and John DeStefano say they would have signed the bill.

No one looks good after this failure. Rell didn't sign a major reform bill (again), which makes her look like a hypocrite. However, Democrats must have known she'd do exactly this, but passed the bill anyway with the privatization language intact. Both sides are playing politics, and many of the reforms still don't get done.

7 comments:

Blue in CD2 said...

I was surprised that I had'nt recieved anything from the Malloy camp about this, since DM has been fairly vocal about this issue.

I went over to his site and it does appear he has gone public with blog entry about it.

www.danmalloy.com/main.cfm?actionId=blogShowExcerpts&blogId=30&year=2005&month=11&day=16&action=showCalendarDay

Hard text -

"Three weeks ago, I released a statement publicly urging Governor Rell to sign a new state contracting reform bill into law. Already passed by our State Senate, the bill would place common-sense restrictions on the Governor's ability to privatize state services.

Unfortunately for the people of Connecticut, Governor Rell decided today to veto this reasonable and necessary bill.

It is troubling that our Governor has opted to halt the reform process. As I said three weeks ago, privatization in Connecticut is broken and greatly needs stronger oversight. This bill would have been a firm and comprehensive move in that direction."

Here is the press release he came out with -

"MALLOY CALLS ON RELL TO SIGN CONTRACTING REFORM BILL

Says common sense privatization restrictions shouldn't doom needed reform again

STAMFORD -- Democratic candidate for Governor Dan Malloy, Stamford's Mayor, today released the following statement on the state contracting reform bill passed yesterday by the State Senate and expected to be debated today by the State House of Representatives:

"I applaud the State Senate for once again passing much-needed comprehensive state contracting reform and am confident the House will follow suit. I strongly urge Governor Rell to drop her continuing opposition to this bill and sign it into law.

The Governor has threatened to once again veto state contracting reform because she mistakenly believes that one minor provision in this much-needed bill will hinder non-profit agencies from providing valuable state services. That could not be farther from the truth. While the bill does set up standards for privatization of state services, non-profits are accorded a separate standard, making it easier for them to continue their vital services to the State and its residents. It seems that the Governor's real problem is with the privatization standards themselves, which do place some common-sense restrictions and guidelines on the Governor's ability to privatize state services. There were virtually no standards during the Rowland Administration, and we all know how that turned out.

This week's guilty pleas by a former high-ranking Rowland Administration official and a state contractor are a glaring reminder of the need for contracting reform, and privatization failures and near-misses during the Rowland years clearly illustrate the need for safeguards against unnecessary privatization of state services.

This is a good and reasonable bill, all the way around. If she truly wants the good government reforms she professes to embrace, Governor Rell needs to admit that privatization, like the state contracting process, is broken and needs stronger oversight, and she must sign this bill. If she can't admit to that, we will be continuing the same policies and practices that allowed a Governor, his chief-of-staff, and a well-connected state contractor to run amok, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and lining their own pockets. After all, if you can't acknowledge the problem, you can't fix it, either."

Anonymous said...

Is "supporting a bill before vetoing a bill" better or worse than "voting for a bill before voting against it?"

Anonymous said...

Why don't you guys just eliminate the middleman and support Jerry Brown's bid for Governor?

Franks said...

Can anyone cite and example of the privatization of state services that has costs taxpayers less?

Anonymous said...

211 Infoline service is outsourced to United Way for half the cost of bloated unionized state workers.... One Example.. I have plenty more

deanfan84 said...

Well cite them anonymous Republican. Please. Maybe you, and Jodi Rowland, are correct.

Its fascinating that you still have the temerity to use terms like "outsourcing" and "bloated unionized workers". Can you tell me what the bloated people were getting paid per hour? Are the United Way people supporting families with what they are getting paid? Please share the facts with us.

P.S. Did you vote for George W. Bush? I'm having trouble finding anyone here in CT who will admit to such.

Franks said...

Anonymous,

From the Infoline homepage, "Infoline was created in 1976 as a public/private partnership of United Way and the State of Connecticut." so I'm not sure it qualifies as state service.

The cost v. benefits of privatization hasn't rasied federal trial against one of the state's private contractors - accused of stealing more than $730,000 while working for the Department of Labor or in the Department of Transportation 59 firms were hired between Oct. 1, 2002, and June 30, 2004, according to a report by Local 2001 of the Connecticut State Employees Association.

The union claims the DOT spent about $55 million annually on consultants during that period, with nearly half the work going to seven engineering firms, including Close, Jensen and Miller. One of its principals, John Miller, is a onetime Republican National Committee member and campaign contributor to the Rowland/Rell team.

The union's analysis shows that the total cost (salary, benefits and overhead) of hiring a consulting engineer was, on average, $17,900 more expensive than using a comparably skilled state engineer. In one case, the consultants hired as temporary help stayed on past the contract deadline, even as the price quadrupled