For Immediate Release: 2/3/2016

Contact: Zachary Janowski
Mobile: (860) 384-5777

Yankee Institute Announces 2016 Policy Agenda
Everyone in Connecticut Should Be Free to Succeed

Feb. 3 – Today lawmakers began a legislative session crucial to Connecticut’s future. This policy agenda highlights opportunities for our state to start along a path of reform.

View the policy agenda online here:

Accountable Compensation 

  • Currently, lawmakers get the same benefits that state employees receive through contract negotiations. This gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. Instead, lawmakers should repeal this law and set their benefits separate from benefits for other state employees.
  • Similarly, state employees in management receive the same benefits as those set by collective-bargaining agreements. Even the negotiators sitting across the table from the unions get the same benefits. Lawmakers should set the benefits of any state employees not covered by collective-bargaining agreements separately from unionized employees and by statute.
  • In the future, all state employee benefits should be determined legislatively. Lawmakers currently set teachers’ benefits this way.
  • The full General Assembly should vote on all state employee contracts.
  • All agreements that are currently being negotiated with state employees should reflect both the difficult fiscal circumstances of the state and the current imbalance between public and private sector compensation, and should therefore not include any wage or step increases.
  • Lawmakers should make work rules more favorable to taxpayers. For example, the state should not be paying the salaries of public employees while they are working for their unions. This practice should end.

Better Budgeting & People-Friendly Government Reforms

  • Fully implement the constitutional spending cap by defining its key terms.
  • Adopt zero-based budgeting and results-based accountability for state agencies.
  • Eliminate legislative commissions that act as taxpayer-funded lobbyists.
  • Advocate for rule/process changes that lead to a better budget process and more open legislature. (See previously released list, “Challenge the Rules”)

Eliminate or Reform the Unified Gift and Estate Tax

  • Connecticut is the only state with a gift tax. It should be eliminated.
  • Eliminate or reform the estate tax.

Other Items

  • Reform occupational licensing requirements to make it easier to enter a profession.
  • Reform bail so it is applied more evenly and fairly.
  • Place greater limits on state borrowing.
  • Eliminate or reduce Certificate of Need limitations.
  • Examine the cost of the Municipal Employee Retirement Program and make it less burdensome on member towns.

The Hartford-based Yankee Institute for Public Policy works to transform Connecticut into a place where everyone is free to succeed.

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