For Immediate Release 10/5/2017
Contact: Marc Fitch
Mobile: (203) 240-9085
YANKEE INSTITUTE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS DAMAGE TO TAXPAYERS & TOWNS RESULTING FROM UNSUSTAINABLE GOVERNMENT UNION DEAL
Hartford - Yankee Institute has released a video explaining in straightforward, accessible terms how the recently-approved deal extending a government union contract until 2027 has impacted the budget; state municipal funding; and, ultimately, families all across Connecticut.
The video points out: Because the government union deal means we can’t cut spending on state government, lawmakers will force local governments to make up the difference.
And that’s exactly what is happening in Connecticut right now.
The SEBAC extension deal -- which extends the benefits contract until 2027, offers guaranteed wage increases, and layoff protections -- purports to offer $1.5 billion in savings and other modest concessions. But in return, it has left Connecticut with a $3.5 billion deficit and locked-in spending for the next four years. The deal, which passed narrowly in the General Assembly and in the state Senate only with the Lieutenant Governor breaking a tie -- has limited Connecticut’s ability to reduce spending, make essential structural reforms, and reduce the size of government.
Gov. Malloy vetoed a bipartisan budget that would have maintained funding for municipalities and imposed no significant tax increases, in part because it offered reforms to Connecticut’s pension and benefits system after 2027.
As a result, Connecticut remains without a budget -- the last state in the nation without one. Under the governor’s executive order now operative throughout the state, cities, towns, and taxpayers will be forced to lay off teachers, cut services and raise taxes — all to ensure that Connecticut’s government unions keep their expensive, defined-benefit pensions (among the most generous in the country).
“The backroom deal negotiated between Gov. Malloy and government union leaders has left the families of Connecticut on the hook for a $3.5 billion deficit,” said President of Yankee Institute Carol Platt Liebau. “Once again, protecting the government union special interest groups has taken precedent over the hard-working people of Connecticut, and communities that are already struggling to make ends meet.”
Not only is the government union deal affecting this year’s budget debate -- it will impact budget debates for the next decade, as fixed costs like pensions and retiree healthcare benefits crowd out essential state services and create multi-billion dollar deficits.
The Hartford-based Yankee Institute for Public Policy works to transform Connecticut into a place where everyone is free to succeed.