Conn. Governor Vetoes Anti-Privatization Bill

Connecticut Gov. Rell vetoed a bill yesterday that would have limited state privatization efforts:

Democratic leaders of the state legislature decided against trying to override Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s nine vetoes on Monday, despite pressure from a labor union to resurrect a bill that limited privatization of state services. While there is a veto-proof margin in the Senate, Democrats don’t have a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives. The legislative leaders said they may take up contracting reform and the privatization issue later this year in a possible special session. . . . . Many Democrats were surprised that Rell vetoed the state contracting reform bill, one of the key bills of the session. Rell said the provision would have limited her administration’s ability to privatize state services for at least two years. She said that would have affected hundreds of state contracts, including agreements with drug treatment programs and private group homes for the mentally retarded. But AFSCME Council 4, the state’s largest AFL-CIO union, is continuing to pressure the legislature and Rell by running newspaper ads calling for the privatization language to be replenished. The union said the two-year ban is needed to provide time to come up with new regulations for privatization, especially in the wake of last year’s government corruption scandal that chased Gov. John G. Rowland from office. . . . . The legislation creates a new State Contracting Standards Board, which will oversee all contracting arrangements in state government. Rell attempted to resurrect language creating the board, among other reforms, by issuing an executive order. Senate Democrats are questioning whether that order violates the state constitution’s separation of powers. They’ve asked Attorney General Richard Blumenthal for an opinion.

Full article here.