Posted on April 8, 2022
HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford), Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford), and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) are renewing their calls for immediate legislative public hearings on the state’s school construction financing program, following the release of a state audit that details serious flaws in the state’s oversight of school construction financing program, which is allegedly the subject of a federal investigation. The lawmakers are also calling on the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee to hold a hearing on the Department of Administrative Services’ (DAS) role in the school construction financing program, as the GAE Committee directly oversees DAS.
On February 10, 2022, Republicans wrote to the State Auditors seeking the audit of the state’s school construction financing program. On the same day, they also wrote to legislative leaders seeking legislative hearings to examine the state’s school construction financing program.
“The legislature has an obligation to seek answers and understand exactly how these serious issues within the executive branch came about to prevent anything like this from happening again,” said Kelly, Candelora, and Formica. “We thank the state auditors who worked quickly to investigate. Their findings are alarming and suggest that actions by the Governor and high-ranking officials in his administration are responsible for significant issues granting a select few far too much power. This audit demands the legislature bring greater sunlight to ensure that taxpayer sacrifices are always respected.
The CT Republican leaders are calling for public hearings to bring both current and former executive branch officials involved in the management and oversight of the school construction program before members of the General Assembly to answer questions, respond to audit findings, and provide insight into the program’s operation and management. This must include former Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) and chief operating officer Josh Geballe and former Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw.
“Connecticut Democrats have failed to hold the state accountable thus far. The reviews of this situation to date have only scratched the surface and still have not gotten to the heart of the allegations. Democratic legislative leaders tried to silence our calls for hearings before by holding an inadequate forum, at which lawmakers were limited in length and scope of the questions we could ask. Based on the auditors’ report, it’s clearer than ever that the forum was inadequate. The organizers of that forum didn’t want to know anything about the alleged disrespect of taxpayers. Today, they can no longer look away. This audit demands the attention of every lawmaker who cares about protecting constituents’ sacrifices,” the Republican leaders said.
“We must demand transparency, accountability, and answers to root out any wrongdoing and begin to rebuild public trust.”