Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Solicit Input From Transition Policy Committees as They Near Their 100th Day in Office
(NEW BRITAIN, CT) – As they approach the 100th day of their administration, Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz convened a meeting with the co-chairs from each committee of their Transition Policy Working Groups to review the progress of the first 100 days and discuss priorities going forward. The governor and lieutenant governor highlighted their achievements that align directly with the proposals of the committees, solicited input from the chairs regarding priority recommendations the administration should focus on for next four years, and reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that committees meet with relevant commissioners.
The Transition Policy Working Groups were formed in the days following their successful election on November 6, 2018. The incoming administration held a policy summit attended by more than 450 people and announced the creation of 15 committees, which were each assigned a topic encompassing a wide variety of issues critical to Connecticut’s success. Dozens of residents were named to serve on the committees, with their memberships specifically designed to incorporate as many viewpoints as possible, regardless of political affiliation.
Immediately prior to taking the oath of office on January 9, each of the 15 committees supplied the incoming governor and lieutenant governor with policy recommendations to consider during their first days of their administration.
“We are grateful for all the good work of the Transition Policy Working Groups – work that laid the ground for many of the initiatives we’ve taken, from developing a leadership team in state government that is nearly 50 percent women and the most diverse in our state’s history, to eliminating red tape and making our state friendlier to business, to acting on the recommendations that will create a paid family and medical leave program, raise our minimum wage to $15 an hour, and continue our work to reform our state’s system for criminal justice,” Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said in a joint statement. “If we are not working together, we are not working. This means staying engaged and staying involved. Together, we are going to grow our economy, improve our communities, and create new opportunity for all of our residents and businesses.”
Many of the Transition Policy Working Group recommendations have already been implemented, including:
- Developing a Leadership Team of Unprecedented Diversity:The Lamont-Bysiewicz administration includes nearly 50 percent women as commissioners, and represents a more diverse set of leaders from different Connecticut communities than any administration in our state’s history.
- Building Better Systems to Improve Government Performance and Use Data: The opportunity for Connecticut government to do better by coordinating across agencies and focusing on performance was a theme across transition policy committees. Further to those thoughts, the administration created the important new position of Chief Operating Officer in the Office of the Governor, which was assumed by Paul Mounds; appointed David Wilkinson, former Director of the White House Office on Innovation, as Chief Performance Officer; and brought in Josh Geballe from IBM as commissioner for the Department of Administrative Services. Together, this team is designing and implementing a strategy to improve data systems and develop new mechanisms to measure and drive performance across government (further to the recommendations of the Digital Strategy Committee). The same team is working to build Connecticut’s Digital Front Door, easing the interface of Connecticut’s citizens with the government services they need, even as the administration advances its efforts to make Connecticut the first 5G state in New England.
- Creating the Role of Chief Economic Development Adviser to the Governor, Revamping the DECD/CERC collaborative: David Lehman is serve as commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and as the governor’s senior economic adviser, a position proposed by the jobs and economy committee, bringing a new level of focus and initiative to the administration’s work to attract and retain the businesses that will get the state growing.
- Advancing Priorities for Women and Families: Drawing on the recommendations developed by the women’s policy committee, the administration proposed implementation of paid family and medical leave for the first time in Connecticut; introduced legislation to move Connecticut toward a $15 an hour minimum wage; and established the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, bringing together leadership from across state government to meet the needs of women and girls.
- Maintaining Momentum on Criminal Justice Reform: Consistent with the recommendations of the criminal justice policy committee, the administration brought a nationally respected leader in criminal justice reform to Connecticut to serve commissioner of the Department of Corrections (DOC) – Rollin Cook – who is working to ensure that Connecticut accelerates its efforts reforming the criminal justice system. The administration has moved forward its proposal to make medication assisted treatment universally available in prisons, including providing the resources to do so in the governor’s budget proposal. Working with the Department of Motor Vehicles, DOC is making a priority of ensuring that every person has a valid state-issued ID at release from incarceration. The administration has also introduced legislation to create a new level of transparency around state prosecutions, and appointed a new slate of experts to the Criminal Justice Commission, including – for the first time in state history – a formerly incarcerated person.
- Advancing Green Energy and Creating New Green Industry Jobs:Further to the recommendations of the energy and environment committees, and together with DECD and the Connecticut Port Authority, the administration is in final negotiations to create a deal that will make New London a hub of the emerging wind power industry, creating tremendous potential for Connecticut to capitalize on this alternative source of energy in future years and bringing scores of new, green jobs to Connecticut.The administration is also working with the legislature to authorize the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to procure a significant portion of Connecticut’s energy needs from wind power.
- Enhancing Coordination Across Government to Build Housing and Promote Transit-Oriented Development: Consistent with the recommendation of the housing policy committee for stronger coordination across state government on these issues, Governor Lamont recruited Lisa Tepper Bates to join the Office of the Governor as Senior Coordinator for Housing and Transit-Oriented Development. In this role, she is facilitating work across state agencies and expediting the administration’s efforts to build the transit-oriented housing that is needed to attract the employers and workforce that is desired in Connecticut.
- Census 2020: As preparations are being made for the upcoming 2020 census, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz launched the Connecticut Complete Count Committee to analyze previous census undercounts and recommend strategies to ensure a full count in Connecticut. An accurate census count is critically important to the state because it is the foundation that helps determine over $11 billion of federal funding allocations. The committee is an advisory panel of community leaders who represent diverse populations from across the state including elected officials, faith leaders, community health centers, chambers of commerce, community activists and heads of housing authorities.
- Promoting Regional Cooperation to Improve Use of Education Funds: Working from the concepts developed by the shared services and education committees, the administration has proposed incentivizing more intensive efforts across the state’s school systems to improve services and preserve much-needed funds for use in the classroom. The administration has proposed legislation that will create a diverse Commission on Shared School Services to survey the state and country for best practices and share them with municipalities. The administration is also re-invigorating the Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations at the Office of Policy and Management to serve as an important resource for towns and the state as they seek to understand and maximize the opportunities of regional cooperation.
- Stepping up Efforts to Combat Opioid Addiction and Overdoses: Further to the discussion of the human services and healthcare committees regarding the need for new efforts addressing the opioid crisis, the administration has launched with the efforts of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services a new coordinated campaign to confront and prevent the increase in opioid addiction across Connecticut – the “LiveLOUD – Live Life with Opioid Use Disorder” statewide awareness campaign, as well as the new Naloxone and Overdose Response (NORA) smartphone app.
- Creating New Opportunities for Connecticut Farmers: Consistent with the views of the agriculture committee, the administration is introducing legislation to expand opportunity for Connecticut’s farmers by launching a robust hemp cultivation program.
Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said they will continue consulting with the members of their transition team throughout their administration.
Governor Lamont's First 100 Days
January 18, 2019: Launches Council on Women and Girls
Council provides a coordinated state response to issues that impact the lives of women and girls, their families, and the State of Connecticut
January 22, 2019: Signs first bill
Bipartisan legislation allows federal workers impacted by the shutdown to receive financial assistance through a public-private partnership with the state’s banks and credit unions
January 30, 2019: Announces new economic development Public-Private partnership in New London
Partnership between the Connecticut Port Authority, Gateway Terminal, and the City of New London to spur economic development opportunities at the Connecticut State Pier
February 1, 2019: Revamps state’s economic development and policy team
Nominates Senior Economic Advisor/Commissioner of DECD, David Lehman, who will work in partnership with new CERC co-chairs Indra Nooyi and Jim Smith. Nooyi and Smith charged with expanding geography and industry representation on CERC’s board.
February 4, 2019: LG Launches the Connecticut Complete Count Committee
Understanding that an accurate census count is critically important to our state as it is the foundation to determine federal funding allocations, the LG launched a statewide initiative to ensure Connecticut’s population is fully counted. Currently, Connecticut is ranked first in the nation for paying the most in federal income taxes and we are amongst the lowest in getting federal dollars in return.
February 12, 2012: Announces Debt Diet
Announces a proposal to shrink the state’s borrowing by 39 percent, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Referring to it as a self-imposed “Debt Diet” the Governor is seeking to reduce long-term debt service payments and potentially save the state as much as $2 billion over the next decade.
February 16, 2019: Announces support for infrastructure investment plan to spur economic development and growth
A broad coalition of state, local, business and labor leaders support the Governor’s plan, which includes 40% of revenue from people who don’t even live in Connecticut. The revenue raised would be protected by federal law and the state’s Constitutional lockbox and be used to reduce congestion, enhance bridge and road safety, improve rail service and reimagine Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure for the 21st century.
February 20, 2019: Submits first budget proposal
Pro-growth budget proposes the structural changes necessary to address the state’s crushing fixed costs, while also investing in transportation, education and workforce/economic development. It’s a budget that makes tough choices, strategic investments and ensures that we put Connecticut on a path to growth for all its citizens.
February 21, 2019: Appointed to Council on Governors
Appointed by President Donald Trump to serve a two-year term on the Council of Governors, a bipartisan group of ten governors who are responsible for providing coordination between the states and the federal government on emerging threats and emergency response, synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities in the United States, and matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard
March 8, 2019: Announces updated Family Violence Policy for state workers
Announces updated state policy regarding leave rights available to state employees who are victims of family violence and the procedures relating to such leave. Announced on International Women’s Day, the updated policy is being updated to better ensure that employees who are experiencing family violence receive appropriate support.
March 8, 2019: Announces women make up 50% of administration agency commissioners
Women have been chosen to lead the following agencies: Department of Children and Families, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Health, Department of Rehabilitation Services and Department of Housing and the offices of Early Childhood and Heath Strategy.
March 15, 2019: Announces agreement between Dominion and Eversource/UI
Announces that Dominion Energy and Connecticut’s two electric utility companies, Eversource and United Illuminating (UI), have reached an agreement to retain the Dominion-owned Millstone nuclear facility. The agreement is good news for the region’s grid, the environment, the state’s economy, and ratepayers alike.
March 19, 2019: Credit rating agencies affirm Connecticut is moving in the right direction under the structural reforms in Gov. Lamont’s budget
S&P Global Ratings credit analyst David Hitchcock stated “The outlook change to positive reflects the increased likelihood that Connecticut will preserve recently replenished reserves at what we view as strong levels, and that the state's high debt levels could moderate if the governor's proposal for a new 'debt diet' is carried through into policy." S&P will be monitoring the State of Connecticut to assess whether “…the governor's proposal to shrink future debt issuance might be adhered to over the long run.
April 2, 2019: Chairs first Bond Commission meeting
As part of the “debt diet” initiative Gob. Lamont announced to reduce long-term debt service payments and save state taxpayer dollars, the items to be considered at the April 2 Bond Commission meeting represented a reduction in bonding by more than 65 percent as compared to bonding during the same time-period in prior years. The agenda focused on continuing commitments for municipal aid, critical transportation infrastructure projects, leveraging federal funds for tribute to our veterans, and prior committed economic development projects.
April 5, 2019: Announces landmark partnership with The Dalio Foundation
Launched a partnership strengthening public education and promoting greater economic opportunity in Connecticut. Through Connecticut’s leadership and the support of Dalio Philanthropies, the partnership seeks to raise $300 million over five years: $100 million from the State of Connecticut that will be matched by $100 million from Dalio Philanthropies and another $100 million from other philanthropists and business leaders.The $100 million from Dalio Philanthropies is the largest known philanthropic donation to benefit the state in Connecticut’s history. The partnership will benefit residents of Connecticut’s under-resourced communities, with a specific focus on communities where there is both a high poverty rate and a high concentration of youth (14-24) who are showing signs of disengagement or disconnection from high school.