The odd number years are off years for state politicians as new legislative terms begin and – in 2011- a new Governor takes office.
That will not be the case in New Britain in the early weeks of 2011 as the new Governor has summoned the state senator for a commissionership and the Legislature has selected the 25th State Rep for Democratic State Auditor.
A short time after March 1 the familiar names of DeFronzo and Geragosian will be gone from the New Britain state House delegation. State Rep. Tim O’Brien (D-24) will be the senior member and incoming Human Services Chair Rep. Peter Tercyak (D-26) the only veteran of past legislatures left. State Rep. Betty Boukus (D-22), who represents a sliver of the city in District 15, will also remain to represent New Britain voters. While it may seem longer for the current crop of NB legislators, these kinds of State House changes occurred here just eight years ago when incumbents stepped down and DeFronzo defeated Tom Bozek for the Senate seat.
What is different now is the new system of public financing. Given a six-week election cycle the special elections here and elsewhere will again test the citizens’ election program. Participating candidates will need to meet 75% of the donor and dollar requirements of a normal election cycle. The candidates will need to be very good and very fast at securing the small dollar contributions to do the public financing.
On top of new faces in the Legislature the coming reapportionment will most certainly alter the borders for Legislative and local voting districts by 2012. New Britain voters will be seeing a lot of changes in who represents them and where they live on the political map.
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State Senator Don DeFronzo, an early supporter of Dan Malloy in the 2010 gubernatorial race, is heading for the state Department of Administrative Services (DAS). The agency DeFronzo will lead is generally not in the headlines but has evolved into an omnibus branch of the executive that is a key to how state government runs itself and does business with others.
Here is how the agency introduces itself:
DAS has statutory responsibilities and administrative authority in the areas of personnel recruitment, selection and workforce planning; fleet operations; state workers’ compensation administration; procurement of goods and services; collection of monies due the state; surplus property distribution; contractor prequalification and supplier diversity; consolidated human resources, payroll, fiscal and equal employment opportunity services for small agencies; as well as printing, mail and courier services for state government.
In addition, we have proudly added to our agency the Claims Commission, the State Marshal Commission, the State Property Review Board, and the Insurance and Risk Management Board. DAS is also a partner agency for Core-CT which is Connecticut state government’s integrated financial, human resources and payroll system. The services we provide cross state agencies, municipalities, vendors, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations and the public at large. There is something here for everybody.
As if that isn’t enough there are strong indications that Governor-elect Malloy may try to extend DAS’ responsibilities and give DeFronzo an even bigger portfolio to manage in the Departments of Information Technology (DOIT) and Public Works (DPW). Such a consolidation would be up to legislative approval in the General Assembly.
At issue is whether a bigger DAS would bring the efficiencies and savings sought by the new administration as it seeks to spend less and deliver services.