Monday night -- in a vote so close that Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman had to be called in to break the tie -- Connecticut’s state Senate voted to approve Gov. Malloy’s government union deal. A host of extravagant government union benefits have now been extended through 2027.
There’s no getting around it: this SEBAC vote was a tremendous disappointment for the people of our state. But even as we regret the outcome, we should not be dismayed.
Connecticut IS changing. Four years ago, there wouldn’t have even been a fight over this concessions package -- and that, at least, is cause for optimism.
As Winston Churchill once said (in circumstances even more dire than ours), this is not the end. It's not even the beginning of the end. It's only the end of the beginning!
Yankee Institute was at the forefront of the fight against this unfair government union deal, and we are only getting started! Each one of us at Yankee is committed to ensuring that last night’s vote is the last time that a (bare) majority of our elected officials will ever again put the interests of a special interest before the well-being of Connecticut’s people.
Make no mistake: There are still plenty of reforms that we can enact to get Connecticut back on track -- with or without the government unions. Here are just a few:
- Pass a law to ensure that every future union contract gets an up-or-down vote.
- Reform teacher pensions. Teacher pension costs are expected to grow 600 percent between now and 2032. Teacher pensions are set in statute and thus can be addressed legislatively.
- Reform binding arbitration rules. Again, this can be handled through state law.
- Enact priority-based budgeting to ensure agencies eliminate wasteful spending.
- Enact a real spending cap. The residents of Connecticut voted for a spending cap 25 years ago and politicians have ignored it. That has to change.
- Establish a debt limit. Borrowing has exploded under the Malloy administration and debt service payments are one of the fastest growing costs in state government.
Connecticut can change for the better, and at Yankee, we will be tireless in advocating for our shared policies and principles -- both to the public and lawmakers alike.
Finally, from my heart, I thank each of you who took up this fight alongside Yankee -- who contacted your lawmakers; talked with family and friends about these issues; and campaigned on social media and in neighborhoods all throughout our state.
Without your hard work and commitment to liberty here in Connecticut, the fight surely would have been lost long ago. But with you, I am more confident than ever that ultimately, we will prevail. To quote Winston Churchill once more, I’d add, “The road to victory may not be so long as we expect. But . . . [b]e it long or short, rough or smooth, we mean to reach our journey’s end.”
Rest assured that Yankee Institute will be here, and more dedicated than ever to changing lives through freedom and opportunity. With your friendship and support, we will fight on more vigorously than ever, on behalf of all our state’s families, taxpayers, and businesses to ensure that everyone in Connecticut is free to succeed!