Like Rowland and Rell, Gov. Malloy Trying To Eliminate PCSW And Other Commissions

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Connecticut, General Assembly, Gov. Dannel Malloy, John Rowland, Republicans Date:

Like two Republican governors before him, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is trying to consolidate state commissions in an attempt to save money.

Malloy is trying to eliminate the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and five other commissions in order to create a new agency that would be called the Commission on Citizen Advocacy. The six commissions currently have a combined 26 employees, while Malloy’s new entity would have 18 and save more than $1.6 million.

Malloy’s plan is similar to those offered several times in the past by Republican governors John G. Rowland and M. Jodi Rell, along with Republican legislators. Each time, the Democratic-controlled legislature rejected the ideas, saying that the nonpartisan commissions regarding women, children, aging, Asian Americans, African Americans, and Latinos and Puerto Ricans should remain as independent, standalone agencies.

The leaders of those agencies – one by one – testified Tuesday morning in front of the powerful budget-writing appropriations committee that is analyzing Malloy’s overall $21.5 billion budget proposal.

“The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women rejects the governor’s recommendation,’’ said Teresa C. Younger, the group’s executive director. “It is important to have diversity at the table. The merger of these organizations would be detrimental.’’

Created in 1973, the 40-year-old agency focuses on gender discrimination, pay equity, gender inequities and other issues of concern to women.

“We’re specifically concerned about transparency in the budget or the lack thereof in the streamlining of proposals,’’ Younger said. “For us, the average reader, it makes it hard and unclear for us to be able to determine whether programs are receiving full funding or not and what is happening at the end of the day.’’

The two Democratic co-chairs of the budget committee – Sen. Toni Harp and Rep. Toni Walker – both offered warm words to Younger, saying they wanted to thank her for her work for the state.

“You certainly distinguish us as a state,’’ Harp told Younger. “Given that we are 51 percent of the population, why do we still have this inequity?’’

Younger responded that 30 percent of state legislators are women, but all of the top six leaders – including the House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tem – are men.

“Often women are told we should look good and be quiet and not challenge too much,’’ Younger told Harp.

Malloy received support on the restructuring and cost savings Tuesday from Republicans, who have offered the same consolidation ideas.

“I don’t think he’s gone far enough,’’ said Rep. Pam Sawyer, a veteran who ranks among the top five House Republican leaders. “It makes sense to look at all of the commissions under one umbrella.’’

She said the commissions have many overlapping interests, saying they do not need to be broken into separate groups that distinguish women from children and other groups.

“Don’t they all have children?’’ Sawyer asked.

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4 thoughts on “Like Rowland and Rell, Gov. Malloy Trying To Eliminate PCSW And Other Commissions

  1. Connecticut is Dying Too

    Again, I ask: who will step up and eliminate the permanent commission on the status of commissions?

    If we can’t eliminate these bogus little commissions, how on earth will we cut the big stuff? Anyone? Bueller?

  2. Ralph

    What ever happened to consolidating the Department of Motor Vehicles? Many of the current services could be contracted out to the private sector and the remainder divided between other agencies.

  3. Richard

    Saving 1.2 Million is nothing commpared to blocking the $400 million in construction funds for Waterbury Hospital that went up in smoke due to Teresa Younger’s lobbying as Executive Director of The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.

    These single-issue, taxpayer-funded lobbyists need a vacation. A long one. CT has big quality of life issues that can’t be solved with the narrow absolutism of these litigation agents posing as Civil Rights advocates.

    These lobbyists are one of the reasons companies won’t build here. CT’s lost all sense of proportion when balancing social issues and economic issues. Why get into 2 years of negotiating with these lobbyists who simply can’t understand the word compromise?

    To repeat: this move by Malloy is not about saving $1.2 million. This is about attracting billions in investment to the state.

    More on the Waterbury Hospital and St Mary’s merger fiasco:

    10 proposals over 2 years and each time Younger came back with new and more refined complaints ultimately snuffing the deal and the construciton jobs and economic activity that went with the $400 million deal.

  4. DrHunterSThompson

    these commissions have done nothing but wear red and throw cocktail parties – with our money.

    not that i have anything against women in red or cocktail parties at ethnic bars in Hartford. in fact, they are 2 of my favorite things!


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