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Governor Announces End of ‘Partnership for Connecticut’

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Gov. Ned Lamont announced the end of the Partnership for Connecticut, a partnership that is making 60,000 laptops available to school students, due to a breach of trust.

The Partnership for Connecticut is a non-profit organization overseen by some elected officials; Barbara Dalio, the co-founder and director of the Dalio Philanthropies, as well as some others.

"There was a sense from the Dalios that there were some people who really wanted to undermine the mission of the board. A lot of that was reflected in leaks,' Lamont said during a news conference on Tuesday morning.

The governor called it a very sensitive personnel matter.

"We're going to keep trying for these kids," Lamont said. "I've spent a lot of time talking to Barbara Dalio. Nobody cares more about these kids than she does and I'm very hopeful that the Dalios, with their piece, the $100 million contribution that they made to the foundation, they'll continue to make investments in these kids."

“Our dream of working together in a bipartisan way to help the disengaged and disconnected youth of Connecticut came to an end because politicians like the two leading Republicans of the House, Rep. Klarides and Rep. Candelora, want to fight in the media rather than debate issues and resolve them with other board members.  They sought to sabotage The Partnership.  It can’t go on like this, so I suppose they “won,” Barbara Dalio said in a statement.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides released a statment, saying the Dalio education partnership and the abandoned reopen Connecticut committee both failed d"ue to lack of transparency and public trust."

“In neither case was this about politics - it was about public trust. Unfortunately, Gov. Lamont had little interest in inviting public scrutiny in setting up either of these bodies that were obviously tasked with entirely different missions. We applauded the efforts of the Dalios and their commitment to helping underprivileged students. But the way the partnership was conceived was flawed from the outset and, as elected public officials, we felt an obligation to correct those flaws by shining a light on how it functioned,' Klarides said in a statement.

She added that the legislature should come back into special session to form a "bipartisan committee to come up with strategies and guideline for the continued reopening of Connecticut...."

The governor said that, except for executive sessions involving personnel decisions, the meetings were in public, votes were cast in public, press questions were answered in public "since we all wanted the public to know how and why we made our decisions to provide resources to help these kids."

Lamont said the Partnership has already provided 60,000 laptops for kids who otherwise would not have had access to online learning and plans were being made to provide back to school support for kids who needed extra help before returning to the classroom in the fall.

"The public piece that includes me and the four legislative leaders, we'll recommend that we step back and that money that we had committed to the partnership will be back into our tax coffers given the deficit. We could use some of that as well," Lamont said.

The governor said that when he became governor that he wanted to get the private sector, academics and non-profits more invested in the state and they are still trying to work out that "hybrid method."

Lamont held his briefing the day before the state of Connecticut begins to reopen tomorrow after two months of closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Ned Lamont will be holding a briefing at 11 a.m.

Phase One of reopening on May 20 includes the reopening of “non-essential businesses,” including outdoor museums and malls as well as restaurants with outdoor spaces to serve diners.

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