Rell Cuts Magazines to Balance Books

"More hot dogs, less steak," Rell says.

Back when the state was rolling in dough, it was spending more than $40,000 in magazine subscriptions. That’s roughly 70,000 issues of Sports Illustrated or The New Yorker a year. Or, whatever it is state employees are reading in their spare time at work.

But no more. Magazine subscriptions are among the cost-cutting measures Gov. M. Jodi Rell is ordering as she looks to get the state’s finances under control.

"More hot dogs, less steak," Rell said in a news release from her office -- likening her decisions to those a family would make at the meat counter of Shaw's.

Rell said Thursday that she is canceling contracts that will save the state $21.3 million for this fiscal year. Car wash and detailing services: gone, saving $14,210. Purchase, repair and maintenance of musical instruments: finished, saving $57,707.

Here’s the complete list:

  • Passenger cars, saving $5,149,897 
  • Digital postage equipment, supplies and services, saving $1,065,327 
  • Promotional products, saving $381,834 
  • Uniforms (other than contractually required), saving $259,259 
  • Athletic equipment (not including playground equipment), saving $304,300 
  • Office furniture, metal, wood, chairs (non-systems furniture), saving $1,247,393 
  • Systems furniture, freestanding partitions, technical computer LAN furniture, saving $933,516 
  • Classroom/school furniture, saving $347,466 
  • Rental and pre-owned office furniture, saving $255,765 
  • Car wash and detail service, saving $14,210 
  • Purchase, repair and maintenance of musical instruments, saving $57,707 
  • Outside legal services for underground storage tank cleanup, saving $39,583 
  • Magazine subscriptions, saving $40,248

Her office says staff members are renegotiating contracts that total in the billions of dollars. Even a 1 percent savings, they tell us, could save the coffers $18.1 million. 

That way, another few state workers can keep their jobs and buy their own issues of Better Homes and Gardens.

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