The results are in – and now, the real work begins!

Tuesday, voters across Connecticut spoke, loud and clear. They are demanding better jobs; an affordable, sustainable state government; and politicians of both parties who are willing to work together to fund our state’s priorities without constant tax increases.

With your help, Yankee stands ready to help achieve these goals – in 2017 and beyond. We have heard our state’s residents, and we have developed policy proposals that can drive real reform.

First, we need an enforceable spending cap. Connecticut’s residents voted to include a spending cap in the state constitution two decades ago – and four out of five continue to support the cap. Better late than never.

Second, we’ve all seen that lawmakers often balance the budget on the proverbial “29th day of the month.” The problem? There aren’t many options left at that point besides (metaphorically) selling the car and hoping for the best. Although structural reforms have been proposed, they haven’t been adopted – and Yankee can help lawmakers make long-term, meaningful changes to the way we provide government services.

The rapid growth of state employee compensation – including benefit packages averaging $55,000 per year – makes Connecticut’s budget unsustainable. Because state employees earn at least 25 percent more than non-government workers with the same skills and experience, fair pay will pave the way to a balanced budget. When it comes to state employee pay and benefits – including pension reform – fairness can’t wait. And the sooner we make these essential reforms, the better it will be for all of us.

Finally, we know that Connecticut can work, but it is also obvious that, right now, our economy isn’t working. It’s time to pass no-cost reforms that make it easier both to hire and work in Connecticut. More jobs means better lives for the people of our state – no one who loves Connecticut should be forced to look elsewhere for work. Our Connecticut Can Work! reforms bring that goal one step closer to reality.

All of us at the Yankee Institute thank each candidate who stepped forward to run, and congratulate every new and returning lawmaker – we look forward to working with you!

Now, our real work begins. Together, we can champion the policies that will transform Connecticut into a place where everyone is free to succeed.

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Carol Platt Liebau

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