Senator Kissel Opposes Merger Of Good Government Commissions

March 28, 2003

Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, said today he does not believe that merging the State Ethics Commission, the Elections Enforcement Commission and the Freedom of Information Commission is wise government policy, and said he will oppose proposals to do so.

“It is in everyone’s best interest to keep those three very important good government commissions separate and strong. Each has a mission that is unique and designed to protect the public interest. Merging them into one commission may save the state money, and that’s actually debatable, but the potential cost in public trust certainly is not worth it,” said Senator Kissel.

Governor John Rowland has proposed merging the three commissions into a single “Commission on Fair and Open Government” as part of his proposed budget.

“I understand Governor Rowland’s desire to save the taxpayers money, especially during these difficult economic times. But taking any action, no matter how well-intentioned, that could potentially undermine the public’s trust in government would, in my opinion, be a bad idea. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the legislature to find ways to reduce spending, but I cannot in good conscience support this particular idea. Each of these watchdog agencies has a very specific, and important, mission. We need to ensure that they are able to continue to vigorously carry out those missions,” said Senator Kissel.