Malloy’s budget office releasing funds to watchdog agencies


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget office is releasing $183,000 in state funds it withheld from the state’s three watchdog agencies.

Leaders of the Office of State Ethics, State Elections Enforcement and Freedom of Information commissions have argued the Democratic governor was prevented by law from reducing their budgets, pointing to legislation passed in 2004 to protect the agencies’ independence.

Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes has disagreed.

But on Friday, following a meeting with the agency heads, Barnes says he has “voluntarily agreed that it is in the best interest of the watchdog agencies and the state to release the holdback of their appropriations.”

Colleen Murphy, executive director of the FOI commission, says this agreement means her agency no longer faces having to lay off another worker.