Search
Back

Comfortable Pension Cronyism in the Capitol

Once again, the government class in Hartford is looking after its own.

In the wake of the governor’s nomination of two new 66-year-old judges (along with some other nominees in their sixties), there was some well-deserved bipartisan outrage.  That’s because, in under four years, those two judges would enter mandatory retirement at the age of 70 — thereby becoming instantly eligible for lifetime pensions exceeding $100,000 a year, with annual cost-of-living increases and lifelong state health benefits.  Your tax dollars at work! 

Legislation spearheaded by a freshman Democratic senator from Meriden seemed to address the problem with a modicum of sense.  For judges who would have served fewer than ten years on the bench at the time of retirement, their full pensions would be multiplied by a fraction putting the number of years as judge over 10.  Serve six years, for example, get 60% of one’s $100,000 pension — or $60,000.  Still pretty generous — courtesy of taxpayer money! — by the standards of the private sector.

But after secret negotiations, the story changed.  Now, after an amendment conveniently inserted into a gigantic state budget-implementation bill, judges don’t need ten years of judicial service in order to reap the $100,000 pension . . . they simply need ten years of state service altogether.  Now, years spent as a legislator (where pensions are lower) now count toward earning a (much higher) judicial pension.  How very convenient.

It’s not hard to figure out how this change could lead to abuses.  If state legislators (or other state employees) could manage to get themselves appointed as a judge for even a year, they could, voila!, suddenly upgrade to the top-dollar judicial pension.

No wonder some gubernatorial candidates are objecting.

The way the “reform” is now structured, the only sixty-something judicial appointees who will be adversely impacted by it are — no surprise! — those from the private sector.

Somehow, the government always manages to look after its own.  The state legislators who support this change certainly have.

And so ends a new chapter in the story of the Connecticut state employees’ pension system — one of the most generous in the nation. . . and one of the most underfunded, 

 

Commission advises end to in-person municipal meeting requirement as towns try to find balance with online technology

The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations is recommending the legislature change state statute to allow municipal meetings to be held online, ending the requirement that municipal governments hold in-person, open meetings, according to a draft copy of the ACIR’s recommendations on which executive orders to keep and which to discard. ...

Read More

State Troopers doubling pay with overtime due to staffing shortage, as state braces for mass retirements

An audit of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection found that 56 percent of state troopers singled out for review earned more than 100 percent of their base salary through overtime. “These employees’ base salaries ranged from $44,129 to $83,137, while overtime ranged from $50,968 to $190,677,” the ...

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER