It’s an old complaint but one that riles the Republicans in the General Assembly as well as advocates on each side of the issue—“We haven’t seen the bill.” In this session that ends midnight tomorrow, the minority party is upset that Gov. Malloy himself says there are mistakes in the education reform bill.
Most stakeholders who have at least been briefed on the bill are generally supportive. Patrick Riccards, CEO of the education reform group ConnCAN tells The Hanging Shad it’s a positive first step. “While it is not everything that was introduced February 8 [Malloy’s State of State address], it provides a strong foundation on key issues,” Riccards said. “Education reform won’t be completed this year or just with this bill. This is the start of the process. And it’s a good start.”
Gov. Malloy says it’s a good compromise. “I can say, with confidence, that this bill will allow us to begin fixing what is broken in our public schools,” Malloy said in a news release. However, he also says, “…People have been working long hours over the past few weeks, and especially the past few days,” Malloy said “[T]his is a very complex issue, and the final bill will be well in excess of a hundred pages. So there’s a chance that there will be language in the bill that needs to be fixed. Not because anyone’s trying to pull a fast one, but because we’re all human.” Malloy added that fixing the language is now up to Senate President Don Williams and Speaker of the House Chris Donovan.
Republicans such as state Rep. Sean Williams are not happy with the fact that the compromise bill needs fixing. “Voting on a bill that the governor himself contains mistakes is totally and completely unacceptable.” According to several lawmakers, as the governor was holding a news conference praising the comprise, there still was not a final draft for them to read.