NEW CANAAN, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont held a bill signing ceremony at Grace Farms in New Canaan to commemorate the adoption of a new law modernizing and updating a variety of state government operations affecting procurement, digital government initiatives, and the Small and Minority Business (or set-aside) Program. The legislation also adds new members with an education background to the Commission on Educational Technology.
The legislation, which was proposed by Governor Lamont, aims to ensure that Connecticut continues to be a better place to do business. State agencies now have more flexibility to use modern digital tools, small and minority owned businesses have better access to work with state government, Connecticut has access to cutting-edge technology, and it helps to ensure that outdated bureaucratic processes are not a hindrance to accessing critical goods and services in times of need.
These advancements will also support the state in preparing for the wave of retirements anticipated in 2022.
The legislation is Public Act 21-76, An Act Concerning the Modernization of State Services and the Membership of the Commission for Educational Technology.
“Streamlining and modernizing state government operations by cutting red tape and removing outdated bureaucratic practices has been a top priority for my administration,” Governor Lamont said. “Particularly over this last year and a half as we’ve dealt with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen how business relationships and operational processes can mean the world to residents in numerous ways, whether it be through public health initiatives, housing and employment needs, or any number of other issues. I am pleased to celebrate this bill signing today with those from the healthcare, business, and nonprofit community, who know first-hand the difference these changes mean to those who need it most.”
“This legislation continues our march under Governor Lamont’s leadership to streamlining and eliminating outdated processes that have built barriers between government and business,” Josh Geballe, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services and the state’s chief operating officer, said. “These commonsense changes are just part of our broader efforts to modernize state government in ways that residents and businesses expect so they can spend their valuable time growing businesses, supporting their communities, and spending time with their families.”
“When we eliminate unnecessary and duplicative processes for businesses, we grow the bench of providers and suppliers the state can work with, particularly in our times of need,” Gene Burk, director of procurement at the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services, said. “I am proud to have joined a team at the State of Connecticut that makes sure safeguards to protect our residents are in place, without creating roadblocks to productive partnerships.”
“At the height of the pandemic, Grace Farms made a commitment to close the PPE gap in Connecticut and sourced, procured, donated, and distributed two million PPE to healthcare workers around the state,” Sharon Prince, CEO and founder of Grace Farms Foundation, said. “Fulfilling that commitment was made possible through collaboration with the State of Connecticut under Governor Lamont’s leadership. This bill makes it even easier to partner and work with the state, particularly in times of crisis, which can ultimately save lives. This type of public-private partnership is an extraordinary example of what we can achieve together.”
“This is an important improvement that will help protect health care workers and keep our populations safe” Rohit Bhalla, MD, MPH, senior vice president and chief clinical & quality officer at Stamford Health, said. “Procurement was a significant issue during the initial COVID-19 surge in the spring of 2020. It is prudent that we take steps to be better prepared. This new legislation is a commonsense approach.”
“Streamlining and modernizing state government operations, services, and processes improves Connecticut’s business climate, making it easier to do business with the state while enhancing taxpayer return on investment,” Wyatt Bosworth, assistant counsel with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said.