Yankee Institute Endorses Cost-Cutting Ideas from All Sources
Lawmakers Should Lead by Example and Amend Legislator Health Care

The administration of Gov. Malloy and legislative leaders have suggested a number of promising ideas for reducing state spending to close the current deficit of at least $300 million. The Yankee Institute endorses many of these suggestions and encourages the participants to continue their efforts to reduce spending to responsible and sustainable levels.

Yankee Institute President Carol Platt Liebau sent a letter to Gov. Malloy and leaders of the General Assembly last week to encourage them in their negotiations and to offer support for a number of proposed cuts.

“Ultimately, all of us share a common goal of agreeing on a budget that reflects Connecticut’s values – including the importance of living within our means,” wrote Liebau. “In addition, the Yankee Institute believes that to overcome Connecticut’s challenges, we must work together to create the conditions that will encourage economic growth – and the expanded employment, greater confidence and higher tax revenues that accompany it. Only such an approach, we believe, will allow Connecticut to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens, without resorting to excessive levels of taxation that will prompt the state’s most affluent taxpayers to seek residence elsewhere.”

Liebau proposed that lawmakers set an example by reforming the legal requirement that their health care coverage mirror the coverage for state employees. “This game-changing step could be followed by amending the health care plan for current legislators,” she wrote.

The difficulty of current-year budget cuts highlights the need for a future-focused approach. For example, reforming state employee compensation to be competitive with the private sector would save at least $1.4 billion per year. This type of reform would take years, but waiting to begin only pushes off the start. In her letter, Liebau suggests five long-term changes to be sought in negotiations with state employees, including an end to paid time off for state employees doing union work.

The full letter is attached here: Budget Ideas from the Yankee Institute

The Yankee Institute for Public Policy is a Connecticut think tank that develops and advances policy solutions to promote smart, limited government; fairness for taxpayers; and an open road to opportunity for all the people of our state.

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