Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rell's budget and spending on commissions

Governor Rell announced her budget today, including the cuts.

The Courant's headline:

Rell's Budget Cuts 400 Jobs, 23 Commissions

I can't wait to hear the details on the commissions. I've heard rumors for years that many of the commissions were little more than patronage jobs that were dished out to people of both parties... no different than the no-show job that was recently offered to former Speaker Crusher Amann by current Speaker Quid Pro Quo Donovan.

If we all know about the no-show jobs given to Ernie Newton, Crusher and the Chief Inspector on the I-84 debacle, I'm confident that there are dozens - if not hundreds - of no-show, pork barrel, patronage jobs in Hartford... including some of these commission gigs. Don't get me wrong though... I'm guessing the Commissioners, not staff, do little.

What really puzzles me though why some of these commissions even exist?

If the state executive branch has a Department on Aging, then why does the legislative branch have a Commission on Aging? It seems to me that the Commission's function is duplicative... also thinking that the legislature's commission is performing functions that are appropriately performed by the administration's department.

Anyway, at first glance I like the Governor's proposal... though with all our underfunded postretirement benefit plans... probably underfunded by at least $50 billion now... I think this budget still needs further spending cuts to begin to properly fund the promises that have already been made.

Tim White

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