I took an opportunity this morning to ask Democratic Governor-Elect Dannel Malloy if he is pleased the state will not at this time borrow $81 million for the last 38 of 380 new Metro North rail cars.
The bi-partisan state Bond Commission, chaired by retiring Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, last Friday moved forward with authorizing the expenditure, against the wishes of members Sen. Eileen Daily, D-Westbrook and Rep. Cameron Staples, D-New Haven.
Daily and Staples are co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and unsuccessfully raised concerns about recent glitches that have held up putting the delivered cars into service. They also said such an expenditure should be left to Malloy.
Malloy will be sworn in January 5.
Turns out the Bond Commission has to schedule a do-over for Dec. 22 because of confusion over the voting process, as reported today by my colleague, Ken Dixon. Dixon also reported Rell decided not to include the $81 million for the train cars, recognizing they would not receive enough votes in this second go-round.
I asked Malloy today if he is happy with that result.
“When the governor said she might ask for the money, my statement was, ‘We only have one governor at a time’,” Malloy said.
But he added, “Clearly the votes weren’t there.”
I asked Malloy if he had urged Daily and Staples to oppose borrowing the $81 million.
“I had no conversations about that,” Malloy said.
However state Comptroller Nancy Wyman, who will be sworn in as Malloy’s lieutenant governor and is a Bond Commission member, boycotted last Friday’s meeting arguing the new governor should have the right to decide whether to add to the state’s long-term debt. Seems to me if Malloy really felt it was urgent to place an order for those additional 38 rail cars, Wyman would have showed up and Daily and Staples would not have raised their objections.