Public Act 77-405 is a preferential purchase statute passed by the Connecticut legislature in 1977. P.A. 77-405 is codified in Section 17b-656 of the Connecticut General Statutes. This section requires that all departments, institutions and agencies supported in whole or in part by the state shall purchase such articles made or manufactured and services provided by persons with disabilities…political subdivisions may purchase [such] articles and services.”
There are three exceptions to this preference: Section 4-98 allows for emergency purchases. Sections 18-18, 10-298b, and 10-298c, establish that preference must be given first to the Department of Corrections or blind persons under the direction of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind.
The Commissioner of Administrative Services regulates the program created by these sections and is responsible for establishing the fair market price. The Connecticut Community Providers Association administers the program on behalf of the participating rehabilitation organizations.
The Connecticut Qualified Partnership Program provides for the development of qualified partnerships between private janitorial contractors and community rehabilitation providers through which a private janitorial contractor may be accorded preferred purchasing status for state janitorial contracts under the statute. The overall mission of the qualified partner program is to expand employment for people with disabilities and people with economic disadvantages while providing employment security for workers on State of Connecticut janitorial contacts.
In 2013, the Connecticut Qualified Partnership Pilot Program was made permanent by Public Act 13-227 and in 2014 it was expanded through Public Act 14-188 to other contracts types at the discretion of the Department of Administrative Services Commissioner.