While most Connecticut residents feel a growing unease about the Malloy administration’s irresponsible and underhanded approach to state budgeting, I’m often asked to give specific examples of how Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy has handled the Connecticut budget during his term in office.
Long-time readers may remember this one, but here is a prime example for readers who are newer to Wait, What?
In January 2010 there was a tragic school bus accident on Route 84 in Hartford that killed a young Rocky Hill student who was attending one of the CREC magnet schools.
As politicians are wont to do, state legislators kicked into action, and on May 1, 2010 the Connecticut General Assembly passed Public Act 10-83. The new law created a special protected trust account called the Connecticut School Bus Seat Belt Account and required the Department of Motor Vehicles to administer a program to use the funds to help Connecticut school districts pay for the cost of equipping school buses with lap/shoulder (3-point) seat belts.
To pay for the program, the legislature increased the cost associated with restoring a suspended driver’s license from $125 to $ 175 and directed that $50 of each license restoration payment be deposited into the Connecticut School Bus Seat Belt Account. The Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated the higher fee would raise about $2.1 million a year.
Now fast forward two and a half years…
Governor Malloy had been in office for two years and none of the $4.7 million collected for school seat belts had been spent.
And then, rather than using the money for its intended purpose…
We witnessed the following;
As part of the December 2012 “deficit mitigation bill” Governor Malloy and the legislature included language that overrode the existing law and quietly transferred $4,700,000 from the School Bus Seat Belt Account into the General Fund to help eliminate the projected FY 2013 $415 million deficit.
Gone was the money for school seat belts.
For more go to: http://jonathanpelto.com/2014/05/31/define-fiscal-irresponsibility/
Over the past few months Governor Malloy and his political operatives have raised more than $30,000 from major insurance companies and their corporate executives. The funds were deposited into the special Democratic State Central Committee account that will be used to augment the $6.2 million that Malloy will be getting from the State’s public financing system.
Then late last week Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy stunned healthcare advocates when he vetoed an important bill that would have required insurance companies to provide data about how much substance abuse coverage and related mental health care they were actually providing Connecticut residents.
The legislation was a product of a major study conducted the Connecticut General Assembly’s bi-partisan Program Review and Investigation Committee, a committee I chaired in 1993 during the last year I served in the Connecticut House of Representatives.
The Program Review and Investigation is the only committee charged with fully investigating major public policy issues and developing comprehensive solutions.
In this case, the committee produced a comprehensive report entitled, “Access to Substance Use Treatment for Privately and Publicly Insured Youth.” Phase I of the report, and its corresponding legislative initiatives, was adopted on December 18, 2012. Phase II of the report was adopted on June 7, 2013.
This past legislative session, one of the legislative proposals arising out of the report, was introduced in the form of House Bill 5373, An Act Concerning the Reporting of Certain Data by Managed Care Organizations and Health Insurance Companies to the Insurance Department.
The bill was a common sense, first step toward ensuring insurance companies actually pay the bills they are supposed to be paying.