The state bond commission met this morning to authorize borrowing $525 million for a variety of capitol projects which Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell a few weeks ago proposed as a means of jump starting the state’s economy.
But Rell herself, who sets the commission’s agenda and typically chairs its monthly meetings, was a no show.
Her absence was conspicuous because it comes just days before she is set to deliver next Wednesday’s highly anticipated 2009-10/2010-11 budget to lawmakers which will address a staggering deficit in the billions.
Rell has indicated she wants deep cuts and no tax increases.
Typically Rell holds a press conference after the bond commission meetings fielding whatever questions reporters have on their minds. Obviously the hot topic today would have been the budget along with Rell’s decision to allow the bonding to go forward in light of the state’s fiscal climate.
The status of the state’s controversial decision to transition clients of the HUSKY health insurance plan for low income kids and their families to new managed care companies this weekend was also likely to come up. Just a few minutes before the bond commission meeting Democrats condemned the administration for not holding off on the move, arguing the new managed care companies do not have adequate enough networks of doctors and the change is proving too confusing for HUSKY patients.
A Rell spokesman said the Governor was polishing up her budget speech.
The bond commission was presided over by Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele of Stamford, who afterward said the Governor was working hard on the budget.
If she was, her budget director was not in the room with her. Norwalk’s Bob Genuario was at that moment testifying before the legislature’s appropriaitons committee on a new contract with state corrections officers.