Governor Ned Lamont is urging the Connecticut General Assembly to approve legislation he introduced that takes a number of important steps to improve and modernize state government for residents and provide more support to Connecticut’s businesses.
The legislation, House Bill 6444 – An Act Concerning the Modernization of State Services, was the subject of a public hearing today in the Government Administration and Elections Committee. Josh Geballe, commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services and the state’s chief operating officer, testified before the committee on behalf of the Lamont administration in support of the bill.
“Modernizing our state government doesn’t have just one solution – there are hundreds of small changes that we can make on an on-going basis to ensure our residents have the best experience with government possible, and that’s what this bill is about,” Governor Lamont said. “This bill is following a number of optimization efforts already underway – our IT and HR centralizations, our launch of business.ct.gov, our new tax portal at the Department of Revenue Services, new online services from the Department of Motor Vehicles, and dozens of others. I look forward to working with all of our state agencies to implement these commonsense updates to our processes.”
“This modernization bill will help move Connecticut’s government into the 21st century and reduce unnecessary paperwork, giving time back to our residents, business and employees,” Commissioner Geballe said. “People expect to be able to pay for transactions online and sign documents electronically and yet there remain statutory impediments to adopting these tools in state government. I am excited about the broad range of initiatives in this bill, which together make a significant impact on the way we do business at the state.”
Among other things, the legislative proposal will:
- Reduce red tape in the procurement process without compromising contracting standards;
- Update the outdated definition of “small business” to align with the federal Small Business Administration definition;
- Give the commissioner discretion to waive competitive bidding in the case of minor or emergency purchases of $10,000 or less, in response to our procurement lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Allow agencies to “piggyback” not only on other states’ cooperative purchasing plans, but also on those of other Connecticut branches, divisions or departments; and
- Further Governor Lamont’s Digital Government Initiative by eliminating obstacles to the use of electronic services such as electronic fund transfers and e-signatures.