Responding to a new report by the Auditors of Public Accounts, Democratic nominee for Governor Dan Malloy said today that Connecticut needs to “end the years of secrecy surrounding taxpayer dollars and how they’re being spent on the state’s economic development strategy,” and said the report highlights the need for change in Hartford.
Said Malloy (links added):
“I talked about this more than a year ago, and here we are again. This report is only the latest in a long-running saga of secrecy that has surrounded the State’s economic development agencies for years. For too long, we’ve allowed two of the state’s economic development agencies – Connecticut Innovations Inc. and the Connecticut Development Authority — to break the law by refusing to make public critical information that taxpayers have a right to see. It’s time we make state government more accountable.
“The reason we need to have this information is simple: if the companies receiving this money aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, then they shouldn’t be receiving that assistance. And that will help us cut government spending at a time when we need to find every nickel and dime we can.
“According to Connecticut state law, these agencies are required to report the names of the companies that receive taxpayer dollars, the number of jobs each of those companies creates, and how those companies compensate their employees. But they don’t, and under the watch of recent governors, millions of taxpayer dollars have been handed out to a lot of companies. Taxpayers have a right to know if that money was put to good use. Right now, they have no idea. Each of those companies, in turn, promised to create jobs, and pay their workers decent wages with benefits. But because the state has allowed these agencies to shroud the programs in secrecy, we have no idea which companies kept their promises, and which ones didn’t.
“The bottom line is that there is no accountability here. None. We only know what they tell us, and the information they’re required to provide by law they’re not providing. It’s a slap in the face of every taxpayer, and it will change when I’m Governor.”