Cuomo's Transition Team Heavy With Lobbyists
By Josh Goodman, Staff Writer
The transition team of New York Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo is loaded with people who know a lot about state policy: registered lobbyists. Nearly half of the people on Cuomo's transition team and economic advisory council either are registered lobbyists themselves or work for organizations that lobby New York's state government, the New York Times reports . These aren't lobbyists-for-hire — Cuomo has excluded them from his transition team — but rather people who work for single organizations that care about what policies come out of Albany. For example, the Times notes that the transition team includes George Gresham , the head of S.E.I.U. 1199, which is sometimes described as New York's most powerful union. Cuomo is defending the choices. "Often, those with great expertise in an area also work for organizations who deal directly with the government in their areas of expertise," a Cuomo transition spokesman told the Times .
Florida Governor-elect Rick Scott has proposed cutting $1 billion from his state's corrections budget. To do so, he's willing to consider privatization. But a key state legislator isn't, the News Service of Florida reports . "I don't have a problem at government looking at privatization in certain areas, but it should never be in public safety. Never," Mike Fasano , incoming chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Appropriations committee said, according to the News Service . Scott and Fasano are both Republicans.
While Michigan Republicans have been skeptical of requiring health insurance companies to provide autism coverage, one influential Republican is a major supporter of the idea: incoming Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley . Calley, whose daughter is autistic, is asking the Republican majority in the Michigan Senate to approve the autism mandate in the final weeks of this year, the Detroit Free Press reports . With Democrats in charge, the Michigan House passed the legislation last year. Business groups worry that mandating the coverage health insurance companies provide will make insurance more expensive, which is why some Republicans are skeptical. Calley, a state representative, was elected on a ticket with Governor-elect Rick Snyder earlier this month. Snyder hasn't taken a position on the legislation.
Even as John Kasich , Ohio 's incoming governor, moves forward with plans to privatize the state Department of Development, he's reassuring the agency's current workforce that they won't be let go en masse. Kasich stressed the value of some continuity in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch , saying, "If they're doing a good job and they can pass the test, we want 'em. We don't want to just throw everybody out." Kasich has argued that the state's job creation efforts have been listless. He plans to create a nonprofit corporation called JobsOhio to handle the task.
After 16 years of Republican governors, Connecticut will have a Democratic governor come January. But that doesn't mean all of the Republican political appointees will be out of work. Instead, appointees of outgoing governor Jodi Rell are burrowing into the civil service system, the Hartford Courant reports . The Courant highlights the story of Jacqueline Mandyck , a deputy commissioner for Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection who will move into a civil service position in the Department of Economic and Community Development. Mandyck won the job over applicants with higher scores based on an evaluation of their qualifications. Other Rell political appointees made the decision to hire her. Civil service employees in Connecticut typically face a six-month probationary period before they are considered permanent state workers, which means governor-elect Dan Malloy may have an opening to block Rell loyalists entering the bureaucracy.