Gov.-elect Ned Lamont wants input from a wide variety of individuals before taking office and putting together his first policy agenda and budget proposal. But the clock is ticking.
He has 43 days, including holidays, until he takes office and three weeks after that before he has to propose his first budget to the General Assembly—and he has yet to announce that he’s hired a chief of staff or a budget director.
Instead, the great-grandson of J.P. Morgan’s chief executive, is gathering the best and brightest and forming policy committees that will eventually present him with ideas in 15 different areas.
The 15 transition policy committees, which range from agriculture to shared services and the arts, are expected to draft a policy memo by close of business Dec. 12, work with other members of the larger transition team to coordinate a one-hour report for the public between Dec. 17 and 19. Then brief Lamont Jan. 3 or 4 on the policy recommendations.
“Our policy committees will bring together some of Connecticut’s sharpest minds to help Susan and me make our vision for the state a reality,” Lamont said Monday. “Since Day 1, we have focused on job creation and fixing the budget. Our policy committee members will help us create jobs, invest in our workers, and build a fairer economy for everyone. The committees consist of leaders from every part of the state: the business community, labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations, and local and state government. Every member is smart, experienced, and committed to making our state stronger.”
In a memo that’s not supposed to exceed two pages the committees will be expected to prioritize the policy goals in a given area and outline a time frame.
They will also be asked to specify which goals are achievable in the first 100 days of the administration, which will require legislation or have a fiscal impact, and whether the policy will create jobs and spur economic growth.
The policy committees will also be asked if there are opportunities to save costs or if there are examples of success from other states or the private sector.
The 15 policy areas were comprised at the direction of the 19 steering committee members who Lamont announced in New Haven on Nov. 15.
“Advancing our vision for Connecticut is a team effort, and Ned and I look forward to working with them as we lead the state forward into a better, brighter future,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, said Monday.
On Nov. 19, Lamont announced that https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20181119_lamont_names_two_men_to_build_his_cabinet/ Kevin Myatt, senior vice president of human resources for Yale-New Haven Hospital, and John Denson, a senior client partner at Korn Ferry in Stamford, will be going over the resumes submitted through LamontTransition.org.
A new coalition of Latino groups has also begun to accept resumes in hopes of providing Lamont with access to hundreds of qualified Latinos.
While many have given Lamont his space since the election many are also quietly worried about the pace of the transition, but have refused to go on the record about their concerns.
Lamont, who largely self-financed his own campaign and spent nearly $12.9 million, is not beholden to any group or constituency.
“I’m the person who is coming in to make the changes we need to get the state working again,” Lamont said in announcing his transition co-chairs.
Exactly what those changes will look like, beyond some of the promises he made on the campaign trail, remains to be seen.
The policy committees, who will meet for the first time Tuesday, have also received copies of the 72-page report on all the policies his campaign highlighted leading up to the election.
The policy committee meetings will be open to the public from 11 to 1:30 p.m. today at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic. There will be about two hours of meetings that will be closed to the public.