The Lamont administration is pushing a series of reforms designed to make it easier and more efficient to do business with the state.
Those reforms are outlined in HB 5012 and include aligning the state's definition of small business with the federal standard set by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
"The SBA standard is very nuanced by industry. It's actually a better standard than ours," state Department of Administrative Services commissioner Josh Geballe said at a Feb. 18 press conference.
By law, state agencies must purchase 25% of goods and services from small businesses.
The state defines a small business as a firm with less than $20 million in annual revenues, which Geballe notes does not accurately reflect industry differences, which the SBA standard does.
The governor's legislative proposal, now waiting action in the legislature's Government Administration and Elections Committee, eliminates six separate affidavits that companies must print, notarize, sign, and upload for every state contract.
Agency staff also must audit and process each affidavit.
Gov. Ned Lamont said incorporating all terms into a single master contract will eliminate over 90,000 state forms annually.
"This legislation cuts red tape, wipes away antiquated requirements in state law, and paves the way for technology modernization," he said.
The bill also allows the state to expand the use of online auctions for contracting goods and services.
Geballe said the state has saved tens of millions of dollars already through online reverse auctions.
The bill also gives agencies the discretion to use online payment methods, eliminates requirements mandating print or fax communications, and directs DAS to develop digital document notarization methods.
"We have enormous opportunity to use technology to improve how we serve our citizens and businesses," Geballe said.
"These simple changes will have wide-ranging, positive effects on how the state interacts with its citizens in a more modern, customer-focused approach."
CBIA's Eric Gjede said employers supported the reform proposals.
"This bill helps streamline state government operations in some key areas, making better use of taxpayer dollars and saving businesses time and money," he said.