It was more than 800 pages of public policy, but the budget bill that’s on the way to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk may have been used to settle some scores between the Senate and the House.
“I also want to express my extreme disappointment that the House of Representatives removed the data privacy provisions from the budget implementer,” Sen. James Maroney, D-Milford, said.
The language inserted in the budget would have given consumers a way to access or delete data collected about their technology use. It would have also allowed them to opt out of letting their digital information be sold or used for targeted advertising. The House removed the language before sending the bill back to the Senate.
“Every day we allow corporate entities to surveil us. And not only are they surveilling us, they are selling that data and profiting off of that data,” Maroney said.
Another provision that was stripped from the bill would have given parents of newborns more time to add the baby to their health policies, and avoid any surprise bills.
“In some cases parents of children born prenatally are stuck with sometimes massive surprise hospital bills,” Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, said.
Lesser said the Senate had voted to end that practice.
“There’s nobody in this chamber who is worse off because this doesn’t pass but there may be a lot of parents in state who will be and I’m hopeful that we will be able to remedy that,” he said.
Yet another provision that was removed by the House would have created more positions at a little known state agency called the Contracting Standards Board.
“To save taxpayers dollars by preventing waste, by preventing fraud. Things that many of us on both sides of the aisle talk about this board is actually doing,” Rep. Devin Carney, D-Old Lyme, said.
Democrats reluctantly pushed forward with the removal of the funds.
“Mr. Speaker this is a hard one for me. I think the underlying amendment is very important to me,” Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, said.
Walker who chairs the Appropriations Committee said she wants to address the issue in the future.
And at the very last minute bonding for the University of Connecticut Health Center was removed.
“Was this a request from someone else in this chamber? I’m just curious as to the genesis of this,” Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-Niantic, said.
“He doesn’t have to answer that so it’s up to him but he doesn’t have to tell you where it came from or opine where it came from. So it’s up to him,” House Speaker Matt Ritter said.
“Through you Mr. Speaker would he care to share that information?” Cheeseman asked.
“No he would not,” Ritter said.