The state's Office of Policy and Management's Financial Advisory Committee held their monthly meeting today. As WNPR's Ray Hardman reports an item left off the agenda today could spell disaster for Connecticut's longest running state commission.
The FAC approves financial transfers to and from various appropriations for state agencies and commissions. Theresa Younger is the Executive Director of one of those commissions, The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women:
"This is the standard operating procedure for the state: Anytime you need to transfer money between accounts, which agencies do all of the time, you have to go before FAC for them to just approve the transfer."
Younger says she needs to shift $100,000 of their own money from their operating account to their personal services account to pay the salaries of their 6 staff members. Problem is - she can't get on the agenda to get that transfer approved:
"We put that request into the Office of Policy Management in Cctober for their November meeting, and then they didn't have a November meeting, and they did not have a December meeting, and we've gotten now to their January meeting, and we were not on the agenda."
It is still unclear why Younger's Commission was left off the Agenda for todays Meeting. OPM declined to be interviewed for this story. What is clear is that if the money isn't shifted by January 29th, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women will be out of money and will have to scramble to pay its staff. State Representative John Geragosian, a member of the FAC, is concerned that by keeping this item off the Agenda that the Rell administration, who in the past had proposed eliminating these commissions, is trying to circumvent the budget passed by legislative Democrats last year.
"This way is not the way of getting rid of the commissions. We negotiated this budget in good faith with the administration, and we spent hundreds of hours in a room with them, working out the details of every line item of the budget, and these commissions were part of the budget."
Geragosian has requested an emergency meeting of the FAC to address this issue, before January 29th deadline.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.