State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24) and Representative Laura Devlin (R-134) sent a letter to the Co-Chairs of the Government Administrations and Elections (GAE) Committee requesting an immediate public hearing on the UConn Health Center. A recent audit by the state’s Auditors of Public Accounts (APA) found violations in hiring and employment practices that cost the state money.
The letter was sent to GAE Co-Chairs Senator Mae Flexer and Representative Daniel Fox. While Sen. McLachlan is also a GAE Co-Chair and Rep. Devlin is its Ranking member, legislative rules require two co-chairs to call a public hearing. State law requires legislative public hearings on APA audits of state agencies.
“Right now, the University of Connecticut is crying poor and entertaining the possibility of raising its tuition higher that it planned. This comes after the Auditors’ report notes that the lackadaisical attitude of administrative officials at the UConn Health Center has resulted in an unbelievable waste of taxpayers’ dollars,” Sen. McLachlan said. “We need to address these problems immediately because UConn students are literally paying the price for the university’s mismanagement. The people of Connecticut deserve answers.”
“As our flagship university, there is no doubt that we want the University of Connecticut to flourish, but the fact is our state is in a fiscal crisis. When UConn is asked to absorb funding adjustments, they claim it is impossible and threaten tuition hikes,” said Rep. Devlin. “The audit findings show there are areas for improvement and the public deserves the opportunity to understand what corrections are being made and how greater accountability will be established.”
Some of the issues noted in the letter include:
“The wasteful practices outlined in the audit reveal that the university’s Oliver Twist routine has been a complete sham,” Sen. McLachlan said. “Connecticut has been in a continued state of fiscal crisis for nearly a decade. We have deficits looming in the future. It’s long past time to address wasteful spending at state agencies including UConn.”
Sen. McLachlan is Co-Chair of the Government Administration & Elections Committee and the General Bonding Subcommittee. He is Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee and Labor & Public Employees Committee Member. He is also a member of the Executive & Legislative Nominations Committee, Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, and Legislative Management Committee. He represents the communities of Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, and Sherman.
Rep. Laura Devlin is ranking member of the Government Administration & Elections Committee. She additionally sits on the Transportation Committee, the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and is a member of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee. She represents the communities of Fairfield and Trumbull.
While Connecticut taxpayers will not be voting for Governor Malloy at the end of the year, he seems determined to make the remainder of his tenure as painful as possible. The least popular Governor in America used his veto powers, once again, to thumb his nose at the legislature and the people of Connecticut.
There was the bipartisan bill to prevent cuts to legislatively approved Education Cost Sharing funding, as the Governor did last year. There was the bill to expand tax credits as a way to promote the creation of manufacturing apprenticeships, something our state sorely needs. And there was the bill backed by the Connecticut Education Association to enhance teacher and student safety in the classroom.
The Governor rejected all of these efforts to make Connecticut a better place to live.
He does this despite continuous reports of the state’s shrinking labor force and calls by manufacturers to provide more training to create the skilled workforce they need. He ignores the state housing market’s inability to show a broad-based recovery because of years of people moving out of our state. Even though the state faces projected budget deficits, he throws millions of tax dollars to bribe businesses to stay in Connecticut that create only a few more jobs. Meanwhile GE and Aetna sought better locations for their headquarters. The businesses that still struggle here could benefit from lower costs that would allow them to be more profitable, not short-term handouts.
If there has been anything positive regarding Governor Malloy’s tenure, it is the result of more Republicans being elected to the legislature to counter his poisonous policies. Our numbers allowed us to defeat tolls and tax increases. It also enabled us to pass a new, more fair education costs sharing formula.
It took a while, but legislative Democrats finally realized that working with us was their best option. This enabled us to produce more truly bipartisan legislation than our state has seen in a long time.
Even though Governor Malloy vetoed some of this legislation, I am confident that when Democrat and Republican legislators return to the Capitol the week of June 25, we will have the votes to override most, if not all of the vetoes. That is because it is not about partisan politics. It is about doing what’s best for the people of our state.
Governor Malloy may still have his tantrums, but he will quickly be in our rearview mirror. Connecticut can then embark on a bright new future.
State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.
SHERMAN – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) and State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24) attended a ceremony in honor of three Sherman School students who won the President’s Award for Education Excellence & Achievement. The two legislators joined middle school students and staff to celebrate the achievements of the graduating eighth-grade class and present state citations honoring the winners of the President’s Award.
The President’s Education Awards program is awarded on behalf of the President of the United States and the US Secretary of Education in recognition of US students for their educational achievements. To receive the President’s Award for Education Excellence, students must meet a minimum GPA of 4.0, while the award for Educational Achievement is given to a student who demonstrates “education growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development.”
Sherman School eighth-graders Kate O’Farrell and Liam Scanlon received the President’s Award for Education Excellence. Eilish Foy won the award for Educational Achievement.
“I am very proud of all of the accomplishments of our middle schoolers here at the Sherman School – they all have worked diligently to get to where they are now and set themselves up for a successful high school career,” said Rep. Smith. “The winners of the prestigious President’s Award deserve special praise for going above and beyond the call of duty to achieve excellence and they deserve special recognition in this way. Congratulations and best of luck to Kate, Liam, Eilish, and all of our students at the Sherman School. I am sure they will continue to make us proud.”
“The President’s Award sets a high bar for our students,” said Sen. McLachlan. “The fact that we have two winners for Education Excellence and a winner for Educational Achievement in the same school speaks to the quality of education provided by Sherman School and the dedication of the students who attend. It was an honor to meet these young people. I hope their achievements and the recognition they received will be an incentive to other students.”
Rep. Smith represents the 108th General Assembly district communities of New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury.
Sen. McLachlan represents the 24th Senate district communities of Danbury, Bethel, New Fairfield, and Sherman.
Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement in response to Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of Senate Bill 528 PA 18-157 AN ACT CONCERNING STATE CONTRACT ASSISTANCE PROVIDED TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES.
“This veto demonstrates the governor’s arrogance and lack of respect for taxpayer dollars. Once again, when it comes to support for the city of Hartford, Gov. Malloy completely dismisses the intent and the voice of the legislature. This veto practically ensures a rough road ahead for Hartford because absent this fix the legislature probably won’t be willing to help Hartford in the future.
“This bill was the result of extensive bipartisan negotiations, supported by the Hartford delegation and the Hartford mayor. It defines what state assistance Hartford will be receiving and also puts into place needed protections to ensure taxpayer dollars are not squandered. The negotiated legislation would limit certain state assistance to Hartford to five years, rather than the 40 years Governor Malloy’s deal tried to implement. It also would prevent future bailout deals from being negotiated without legislative approval. In addition, it would implement needed trip wires over the next five years which would give the Municipal Accountability Review Board the ability to step in. This bill is truly the result of a bipartisan and highly detailed effort to effectively manage state dollars while supporting our struggling capital city. Those who negotiated this bill do not want to see Hartford go bankrupt. We also recognize the state cannot blindly support the city with taxpayer funding without proper protections in place. This bill strikes the needed balance. I expect lawmakers to work together to override this veto to ensure Hartford has a fair chance at a better future.”