Statement by Yankee Institute President Carol Platt Liebau on threat of legal action by state employee unions to prevent future pension reforms:
“Government unions that represent 45,000 employees apparently want to dictate how a state of 3.6 million people governs itself. The fact that this powerful special interest actually feels entitled to overrule the people’s elected representatives shows clearly why Connecticut now stands on the brink of fiscal catastrophe. SEBAC -- an organization that claims its members serve our state’s residents -- ought to be ashamed.
As Yankee Institute has frequently pointed out -- and every rational observer agrees -- our beloved state confronts grave challenges in the future because of our mounting pension and retiree healthcare costs. High taxes and the high cost of living continue to drive families and jobs away, making life in Connecticut more difficult than ever.
Taxpayers have already endured two of the biggest tax hikes in state history, resulting in less revenue and higher deficits. Yet government union leaders continue to demand more of the same, demonstrating a shocking disconnection from the economic reality facing millions of working people every day. And now we see them mount an organized effort to block sensible, incremental reforms -- which will give Connecticut a chance to prosper -- with threats and legal challenges.
Taxpayers deserve better than being held hostage to meet the ever-growing demands of government unions -- our state’s dominant special interest. And the people of Connecticut have a right to self-governance through their elected officials.
We do not -- and we should not! -- need the permission of government union leaders to make the reforms necessary to ensure that Connecticut and its people are free to succeed.”