State troopers were recently dealt a blow in their ongoing battle with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy over his efforts to eliminate a minimum staffing law on the books since 1998.
State statutes call for lawmakers to maintain a force of 1,248 troopers. This minimum had been rarely met under prior Republican governors (three times – 2001, 2007, 2008).
The matter wound up in court after Malloy, who took office in 2010, laid off some troopers last summer to help balance the budget. The administration argued the 1,248 is a guideline, but a judge concluded it is mandatory.
So the governor this session proposed scrapping the minimum.
The legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee earlier this month agreed with the cops the matter should be studied but also eliminated the current staffing requirement in the same bill.
Today ex-House Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, who retired from the legislature in early 2009 and has returned to Hartford as a lobbyist, met with his successor, Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, on the subject.
Amann, according to lobbyist filings with the Office of State Ethics, is being paid $35,000 to protect the interests of state police in 2012.
“If the (staffing) study concludes that 1,248 is an old number from 1998, so be it,” Amann said in a brief interview. “But how can you have a proper study if you don’t start at the minimum? It’s not a big ask.”
A Donovan staffer confirmed the Speaker and Amann met but not the topic of their discussion.