Sen. McLachlan Votes to Cut Agency Spending

January 29, 2010

Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes meets to vote on report regarding agency cost saving measures

Hartford, CT- State Senator Michael McLachlan (R- Danbury) today voted in support of preliminary efforts to find additional savings within state agencies. As a member of the Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes (CEAO), Sen. McLachlan had the opportunity to participate in putting together a comprehensive report that identifies cost saving measures to be implemented either immediately, within eighteen months, or within three to five years. Pursuant to PA 09-7, the initial report must be submitted the Governor, and House and Senate Leadership by February 1, 2010.

Sen. McLachlan has taken an active role on the CEAO and in April of 2009, when the commission was first formed, advocated for the consolidation of state agencies. Attached is his April 23, 2009 letter.

“The direction our state is headed in has given me grave concerns,” said Sen. McLachlan. “The actions by the majority party last year to increase taxes didn’t fix the deficit. We need to get serious about cutting spending and finding savings in every place possible. I suggested consolidation of state agencies almost a year ago and while I was hopeful things would move along more quickly, this proposal and others like it are finally getting the serious consideration they deserve.

“The budget that passed last fall gave the Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes the hard job of coming up with $50 million in additional savings from state agencies. It will be tough, but I think closely assessing the economic efficiency our state agencies is a good place to start,” said Sen. McLachlan.

While the version set to be submitted on Monday is just the first draft, Commission members have identified proposals for which they will seek implementation immediately. Many of the immediate solutions are in the area of Information Technology and include plans for an on-line application system for the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation, Department of Education, and the Department of Social Services Services. The full report also recommends immediate savings by streamlining state agencies, utilizing electronic communication, changes to the contracting process, and maximization of federal funds. After revisions, the report will be available for review at:

“Many of the ideas in this report only save thousands when we need millions, but the small steps do add up,” said Sen. McLachlan. “In California, one of the proposals that has been mentioned here, a shift to Open Office Software, has already been implemented and it’s time for Connecticut to get serious about finding creative and strategic ways to reduce our deficit. Increasing taxes slows our economy and any plan to increases revenue rather than reduces spending is a step in the wrong direction.”