Democratic lawmakers have proposed eliminating the State Department of Motor Vehicles.The plan is part of a new budget proposal, which will be presented to the Appropriation's Committee on Thursday. Democrats hope the move will help make headway in stalled budget negotiations.
The measure would re-distribute the department's functions and employees to other state agencies. Because of a deal between Governor Jodi Rell and state employee unions, the plan doesn't include layoffs, at least for the next two-years.
Senate President Don Williams says "reinventing" the department, along with the state's early-retirement incentive, is a cost saving opportunity for Connecticut.
"I think all said and done, this proposal will save many millions of dollars. But we also should be using this opportunity to improve services. When it comes to the department of motor vehicles, everybody knows, we could be doing things... better."
The plan also calls for a pilot program, where some of the more routine DMV services, such as license renewals, could be provided in convenient retail locations, like shopping malls, or grocery stores.
Governor Rell says she hasn't received an official proposal yet. She says if the plan saves money, it's worth looking at.
"I'm intrigued. You know, I have one concern that kind of hit me right off the bat. And that is about security obviously, and keeping confidential information just that, confidential. You know, I have to tell you too, I don't want to just focus on one cost cutting measure, or one consolidation. If we're going to look at more consolidations, let's go back and look at those that have been turned down first hand."
Rell added that she's unsure how the democrat's proposal will reduce spending if it simply moves employees around.