Christine Stuart file photo
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (Christine Stuart file photo)

Minority Leaders in the House and the Senate were disturbed when they heard Attorney General Richard Blumenthal say he would take the legislature and the governor to court if they decided to eliminate or consolidate the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.

Could he have been joking? Keep reading to find out.

“Permanent means permanent and I hope that the title of honorary woman is as long lasting as I know the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women will be,” Blumenthal said Wednesday during the 16th annual “Making Women Visible” day. “And if the legislature or the governor decide otherwise I can assure you we’ll be in court making sure the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women remains permanent.”

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Southport, said he understands the political rhetoric and passionate statements of support for the commission from some of the other constitutional officers in attendance Wednesday, but it’s different when statements like that are coming from the Attorney General.

“He’s obligated to warn us if this is something the legislature is unable to do,” McKinney said in the phone interview Thursday.

“As a creature of statute, it would seem that the legislature would have the authority to reorganize or, if necessary in light of current economic conditions, even eliminate the Commission,” McKinney and House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, wrote in this letter to Blumenthal Thursday.

Blumenthal sent out this statementThursday evening saying the comments were made in humor.

“My comment expressed my strong support for the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and my deep appreciation for its powerful advocacy on behalf of women. My firm belief is that the commission should be in fact permanent. I will fight at the legislature to assure that the commission continues and remains independent and permanent,” Blumenthal said.

However, Republicans seem serious about consolidating all six state commissions.

“We’re faced with incredibly difficult circumstances,” McKinney said. He said every dollar the state spends has to be examined. He said he’s not talking about eliminating services, just looking at different ways to deliver them.