What Should I Expect Tomorrow?
In short, a lot of excitement and lofty vision. This includes the new Governor and Lt. Governor who will make their mark on the state through the inaugural activities, the new staff moving in to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the Capitol, as well as the tone they set as they embark on this four year term. The General Assembly will also have their opportunity to share their vision for how they will operate - and often they will focus on collaboration, past acts of successful bipartisanship and accomplishments that they hope to build upon. And then of course, there will be a lot of shout-outs for those newly elected and newly appointed and even the newly resigned.
Tomorrow is a day of many transitions! In addition to Ned Lamont being sworn in as the 89th Governor at the State Armory; Secretary of State Denise Merrill and State Comptroller Kevin Lembo will be sworn in for their third terms respectively, and State Treasurer-elect Shawn Wooden and Attorney General-elect William Tong will be sworn in for their terms as well. Lt. Governor-elect Susan Byseiwicz will be sworn in earlier in the day in the Senate Chamber as she takes the gavel as President of the State Senate. Both chambers will swear oaths of office as all state representatives and state senators will be sworn in for their two year terms.
Beyond the formalities of the swearings-in, and attendance by many dignitaries including three recent Governors: Governors Dannel Malloy, Jodi Rell, and Lowell Weicker, the new Governor will deliver brief remarks about his vision for Connecticut. The pomp and circumstance will continue with a parade to the State Capitol. Once the new Governor and Lt. Governor arrive at the Capitol, just in time for now Governor Ned Lamont to deliver a State of the State Address.
This address will likely build upon the vision laid in the new Governor’s remarks after taking the oath, as he raises the bar for the challenges ahead of his administration and sets goals and objectives for his first term. This address will likely lay out his how he intends to serve as Governor as well as his vision and objectives for the session to come.
What Policy Will Be Released Tomorrow?
Because of the nature of a long session, the Governor’s budget will not be released in January. The new administration, already deep in the throes of analyzing the budget and the operations of government, will have more than a month more to develop a budget and their agenda. In the middle of February, Governor Lamont will give his budget address to the joint session of the General Assembly at the same point at which he can submit his package of “Governor’s Bills” which are submitted through the leadership of the General Assembly and raised in committees and make up his agenda for the 2019 legislative session.
This is not to say that each of the agencies will not have policy proposals already in the works. Those proposals can be found here. Certainly all of these proposals will be subject to new commissioners’ review and changes in administration policy, but given the nature of state government, many of these agencies have already begun the process of assessing technical or conforming changes that they need made in statute.
What Happens Next?
To begin with, the legislature begins the session with the process of raising, drafting, and reviewing legislation. Their committee activities begin after Inauguration Day.
Policy As the Governor’s Office and Office of Policy Management continue their analysis of the state budget and craft policies to implement the new Governor’s agenda and vision for Connecticut, we should expect the administration to craft a media strategy to roll out each plank of the administration’s agenda leading into the release of the budget and the Governor’s budget address. Therefore over the course of late January and early February, once policies are vetted and assessed for budget implications, we anticipate hearing from the Governor about his agenda and how his agencies will execute upon the budget he is proposing to the General Assembly.
Executive Appointments And then over the course of the next month, we will watch closely as additional appointments are announced, and the Governor’s Commissioners and other Executive Nominations testify in front of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee (we do not expect much resistance as the Democrats handily control this committee). So far, the Governor has announced the following appointments that must receive confirmation:
OPM Secretary Melissa McCawC
Commissioner, Department of Transportation: Joe Giuletti
Commissioner, Department of Correction: Rollin Clark
Commissioner, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: Katie Dykes
Commissioner, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection: James Rovella
Commissioner, Department of Children and Families: Vanessa Dorantes
Commissioner, Office of Early Childhood Education: Beth Bye
Executive Director, Office of Higher Education: Tim Larson
Governor-elect Ned Lamont has also asked the following Commissioners to stay in their current posts:
Commissioner, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services: Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon
Commissioner, Department of Revenue Services: Scott Jackson
Commissioner, Department of Banking: Jorge Perez
Commissioner, Department of Rehabilitative Services: Amy Porter
Commissioner, Department of Veteran Affairs: Tom Saadi
Commissioner, Department of Developmental Services: Jordan Scheff
Commissioner, Department of Consumer Protection Protection: Michelle H. Seagull
Commissioner, Department of Labor: Kurt Westbuy
Executive Director, Office of Health Strategy: Vicki Veltri
As always, stay in touch as we keep you up to date on what is happening with policy and politics in the state of Connecticut, and particularly with how Governor Lamont, his administration, and the General Assembly propose policy for our state.