Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



February 19, 2021

Sen. Osten, Southeastern Democrats Testify in Favor of Their Port Authority Oversight Bill

State Senators Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) and Norm Needleman (D-Essex) and state Representatives Christine Conley (D-Groton), Anthony Nolan (D-New London) and Joe de la Cruz (D-Groton) today testified in writing at a public hearing before the legislature’s Transportation Committee in favor of a bill they have introduced that would increase state oversight of the quasi-public Connecticut Port Authority which controls Connecticut’s three deep water ports in Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London and the economic activity around them.

“As I’ve said before, we are on a fact-finding mission for our constituents regarding the Port Authority. We need more transparency from this organization to determine if the people in the region are getting a great deal, an okay deal, or if they are in fact being hurt by the Port Authority’s short-term and long-term plans in and around New London,” Sen. Osten said today after the meeting.

The text of the legislators’ written testimony is as follows:

“We’d like to begin our remarks by thanking the leadership of this committee for hearing this critical legislation. As most of you are aware, the past difficulties experienced by the Connecticut Port Authority, as reported by the legislature’s Auditors of Public Accounts and chronicled by the media, highlight the urgent need to establish proper governing protocols and procedures, clear reporting requirements, appropriate fiscal controls, among other policies.

“Taken together, the measures outlined in this bill will have a profound effect on ensuring that this particular quasi-public agency operates in a transparent manner. As policymakers, we have an obligation to ensure that there is proper oversight, and when lapses occur, that we have the tools necessary to hold agencies and staff accountable.

“Thank you again for the opportunity to testify in support of Senate Bill 241. We look forward to working with the leadership and members of this committee on this bill’s passage.”

The text of their bill, Senate Bill 241, states:

“That the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation review the amount of payment in lieu of taxes provided to the Connecticut Port Authority in comparison to the amount provided to other quasi-public agencies and the representation of small ports and host communities on the board of directors of the Connecticut Port Authority, (2) the executive director of the Connecticut Port Authority submit a status report on small port projects and bond funding, an analysis of the net new jobs created at the State Pier in New London compared to the jobs lost at the pier and quarterly reports regarding the status of requests for proposals, contracts, port upgrades and negotiations with current tenants to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation, and (3) the Commissioner of Transportation detail the steps necessary to return the duties of the Connecticut Port Authority to the Department of Transportation and submit such findings to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation.”