When CT lawmakers redirect dedicated funds, it is not fraud?
Apparently, Gov. Dannel Malloy and the majority of the elected representatives to the state legislature have decided that historic preservation, affordable housing, open space preservation and farmland protection and promotion of locally grown produce are no longer important to the citizens of Connecticut.
If they cared about any of the above, they would not be stealing any funds from the Connecticut Community Investment Act account by sweeping the funds into the general fund account over the next budget cycle.
Public Act 05-228 established the fund in 2005. Connecticut General Statute (CGS) 7-34 a (e) requires town clerks to collect a $40 fee on each document recorded in their land records and CGS 4-66aa details explicitly how the funds are to be distributed. This is a dedicated fund, set up outside of the budget and funds should not be diverted for any reason.
If any private citizen or business charged a fee for a specific activity and then diverted the funds for something else it would be labeled as fraud. All fees collected by the town clerks should be distributed for the purpose specified as required by state law.
Richard Newton lives in Mystic and is a life member of the Avalonia Land Conservancy, Inc.
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