CONNECTICUT GOV. NED LAMONT, a Democrat who grew his personal fortune through the telecommunications industry, is stonewalling a bill that would establish Connecticut as the first state in the nation to make phone calls from prison free for incarcerated people and their families.
Securus Technologies, the national prison telecommunications corporation that Connecticut has contracted with since 2012, has been quietly lobbying against the legislation for weeks, though it reversed course on Wednesday. Under pressure from Platinum Equity LLC — the private equity firm that owns the company — Securus announced in a letter that it was formally withdrawing its opposition to the bill.
“Thanks to their seven weeks of lobbying, we now have just two weeks to undo all the damage.”
But Securus’s reversal leaves the bill’s supporters with little time: With just two weeks left in the legislative session, they see Friday as the last day to advance the bill out of the House if it is to stand a shot of passing the Senate before the summer recess. Lamont, meanwhile, has yet to express support for the bill — which would require his signature — with his office citing vague objections over potential cost. Without his blessing, the bill’s backers say, it stands little shot of moving forward.