A (Painful) Attempt to Return to Normal for the State Bond Commission
Some technical glitches were to be expected with an in-person and hybrid meeting taking form for the first time ever with the state bond commission meeting. While things eventually were off of the races, those on teams were unable to hear those in the room in the LOB for about 30 minutes leading to a familiar delay we’ve all become accustomed to in the “new normal”.
The issue was resolved by moving everyone there in-person to the Governor’s primary office he uses for press conferences and announcements!
The Governor opened the meeting with some upbeat remarks about unemployment being lowered and how the state is ready to invest in school construction projects in addition to major infrastructure developments.
The Treasurer celebrated the increased bond rating that was announced last Spring and highlighted his eagerness to see the “baby bond” project to be adopted which provides children born on Medicaid to be deposited $10,000 to be utilized for either college or to help purchase a home.
Most items were fairly uncontroversial with some additional comment and feedback on the following items.
Item 1 - DPH investment of $25M in community health centers and studies of health equity disparities Rep. Cheeseman provided some comments of concern that the state would be utilizing bonded dollars for studies when these expenses could be appropriated.
Item 3 - Port Authority authorization of $50M for expansion Rep. Cheeseman indicates she is not supportive for the lack of transparency by the board of the authority and indicated she does not support the authorization.
Sen. Martin expressed concerns from the initial overall budget at $90M and the increased budget to $235M.
Item 11 - State College and University Advanced Manufacturing Programs
Sen. Fonfara emphasized that he was eager for this to be placed on the agenda and hopes that this is only the beginning of programs like this being passed since UConn seems to be awarded the bulk of grants like this from the commission.
Item 26 - New Western Headquarters for DEEP in Watertown
Rep. Cheeseman emphasized her desire to ensure that this building maintains a high level of public access. There will be publicly available space for hunting and fishing licenses and other forums that will be made available to the public.
The Governor concluded the meeting by saying the next meeting will be fully in person. At this point we all hope so after this meeting last almost two hours!