Government that Works for You
For years, Republicans have called for greater transparency and accountability from our state government and local municipalities; that need vividly illustrated with the arrest of a Democrat legislator who allegedly stole over $600,000 of federal COVID assistance dollars with little oversight from his employer, the City of West Haven, or the state of Connecticut. Unfortunately, our repeated pleas for greater accountability have fallen on deaf ears. Now, this is not just a problem in West Haven, but also within the Connecticut Port Authority and other state agencies that year after year fail to address public audit recommendations – and the legislature and Governor continue to do nothing about it. As Republicans, we will continue to bring attention to wasteful spending and allegations of fraud, and we will fight to hold the state’s public agencies and programs accountable to you.
An open and transparent government is an honest one, which is why we propose requiring all quasi-public agencies to align with state standards for contracting, ethics and transparency. State business must always be conducted within full view of the public.
- Require quasi-public agencies to abide by the same transparency and ethics standards as state agencies.
- Require certain quasi-public agencies to competitively bid contracts while also making them subject to the oversight of the contracting standards board.
- Require our state Department of Administrative Services to make all contracts entered by the state that have not been subject to competitive bidding searchable on the internet.
How your tax dollars are spent is just as important as how they’re collected and it’s time for Connecticut to prove it is operating to the benefit of its citizens. Knowing why a program failed or overspent money does nothing if no one is held accountable.
- Expand the Accountability Subcommittee with members of the Appropriations and Finance Committees who shall be required to meet and review the efficacy of agency programs and the dollars we spend on them.
- Require the committees of cognizance to review the State Auditor reports and require the state agencies to be more accountable for consistent failures and discrepancies.
- Require the State Auditors of Public Accounts to audit financially distressed municipalities that are under the purview of the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB).
- Require legislative review of any debt service contracts between OPM and financially distressed municipalities.
- Reserve a portion of Tobacco Trust Fund revenues to support smoking cessation programs and reinstate the Tobacco Trust Fund Board.
- Allow the State Treasurer to direct excess state revenue to pay down bonded indebtedness in addition to pension debt obligations.
- During the last two years, Governor Lamont launched a bevy of programs and initiative using federal COVID relief funds. We believe there should be an accounting of his discretionary spending under the CARES Act and another other unappropriated federal funds he administered, and an assessment of the effectiveness of those programs he advertised.
Keeping You Informed
Transparency and accountability are less effective when the public doesn’t have easy access to important information. Requiring state and quasi-public agencies to provide advance notice of all public meetings and events, followed with clear, easy-to-digest reports on department expenditures and contracts will provide Connecticut residents with peace of mind.
- Require all state agencies to post public meetings on the Department of Administrative Services’ public meeting calendar.
- Require the State Treasurer to publish the names of all unclaimed property owners so they can be made aware of assets they are entitled to, regardless of its value.
- Provide a centralized website for municipalities to access helpful information on state mandates, deadlines for adopting such mandates, and any other pertinent information that could be useful to help towns properly comply with state requirements.
- Allow greater municipal control over zoning by removing the deadline by which a municipality must act to opt out of the “as of right” accessory apartment requirements.