(Updated 7:35 p.m.)Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, legislative leaders, and advocates hand-delivered two health care reform bills passed by the General Assembly earlier this year to Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s office Tuesday.
“We think these two bills are the most important bills of the legislative session,” Bysiewicz said at a small gathering of advocates who worked for the past two years to get the legislation passed.
One bill would allow small businesses, nonprofits, and municipal employees join the state employees health insurance pool. The other bill called SustiNet would create a nine-member board of directors, three task forces, and four advisory committees that will make recommendations to the legislature by Jan. 1, 2011. The ultimate goal of the board will be to recommend a health care plan that guarantees every resident in the state has health insurance.
While Democratic lawmakers and advocates applauded the passage of the bills, it’s still unclear whether Rell would sign either bill.
On May 20th when the bills were up for debate in the House Rell’s Budget Secretary Robert Genuario came up to the Capitol press room to voice his concerns over both bills. Click here to read our previous story which outlines the administration’s concerns over the two proposals.
Rell’s spokesman Chris Cooper said Tuesday afternoon in a phone interview that the governor will review the bills in their final form before making a decision. He said Rell has expressed concern about the “hefty price tags” of these bills, but will review them like all legislation she receives.
He said she has 15 days to decide whether or not to sign them.
Lawmakers like Speaker of the House Chris Donovan and Sen. President Donald Williams said the state is already paying a hefty price for health insurance in the state and that these two proposals would help save the state money.